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Ensco Offshore Co. v. Salazar

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20092
Nos. No. 10-1941, (E.D. La. , 02/17/2011) Motion for preliminary injunction granted

A district court ordered the Bureau of Ocean Exploration Management, Regulation, and Enforcement to act on five pending deepwater drilling permit applications within 30 days. The permit applicant met all the necessary requirements for a preliminary injunction. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the APA require the government to act expeditiously on drilling permits and to not curtail drilling unpredictably or indefinitely. The time delays at issue here, however, are unreasonable. It is undisputed that before the Deepwater Horizon disaster, permits were processed, on average, in two weeks' time. In stark contrast, the five permits at issue have been pending from four to some nine months. In addition, the permit applicant has shown a substantial likelihood of irreparable injury if preliminary relief is not granted. The applicant has also shown the threatened injury outweighs any harm that will result to the government if preliminary relief is granted and that the injunction will not disserve the public interest.