"Supreme Court Rejects Oil Spill Contempt Case"

"The Interior Department will not be held in contempt over its actions in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after the Supreme Court declined on Monday to review an appeals court ruling in the government's favor."

"The nine justices refused to hear an appeal filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC, a drilling company subsidiary of Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc, and other businesses affected by a moratorium on deep sea drilling that the federal government imposed in May 2010. The federal appeals court ruling that overturned a federal district judge's contempt finding remains intact.

In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig, owned by Transocean Ltd and leased by BP PLC, exploded, causing 11 deaths and a massive oil spill.

The Interior Department's temporary drilling moratorium was immediately challenged by the drilling industry, prompting U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana to rule in June 2010 that the government could not enforce it."

Lawrence Hurley reports for Reuters December 17, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 12/17/2013