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JUNEAU — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says a federal judge’s decision blocking a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling is “good for the nation.”
The White House vowed to appeal Tuesday’s ruling by a New Orleans judge.
The ban followed an oil rig explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean was also delayed, a decision affecting Alaska and one an Interior Department spokeswoman says remains in effect.
Shell Oil was prepared to drill exploratory wells this summer in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas; company spokesman Bill Tanner says the delay affects nearly 800 workers.
Parnell said that while the legal fight won’t put Alaskans to work this summer, the judge’s decision indicates companies can expect fair treatment.