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Judge Closes Hearing on Offshore Drilling Permits

By: HARRY R. WEBER - Associated Press
By: HARRY R. WEBER - Associated Press

A federal judge has barred news organizations from a conference over a company's claim that the government has not yet issued a single permit to allow offshore drilling even though a moratorium was lifted in October.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman said Tuesday that the hearing would be held in his chambers. He said news organizations had no right to attend.

The government is defending the time it is taking to approve deepwater offshore drilling permits, which would have been suspended under the moratorium that was lifted nearly a month ago.

Ensco Offshore claims that since the ban was lifted October 12, the government has not issued a single permit that would allow the resumption of any previously suspended drilling activities.

©2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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