White House to appeal judge's ruling against deepwater drilling moratorium after Gulf spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Tuesday it will immediately appeal a federal judge's ruling against the Obama administration's moratorium on new deepwater drilling.

A New Orleans judge on Tuesday blocked the six-month ban imposed in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, saying the Interior Department had failed to provide adequate reasons for it.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, defended the moratorium and promised an immediate appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gibbs said President Barack Obama believes that until investigations can determine why the spill happened, continued deepwater drilling potentially exposes workers and the environment to "a danger that the president does not believe we can afford."

Obama wanted the moratorium to be in place until a commission he appointed could complete a six-month investigation.