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23K workers affected by Gulf oil drill ban

August 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The nation's top drilling regulator says the deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico will cost at least 23,000 jobs.The details are part of a July 10 memo sent to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who issued the moratorium in June. The memo sent by Michael Bromwich specified that the six-month suspension would directly put 9,450 people out of work and indirectly affect nearly 14,000 other jobs.

The moratorium was struck down by a federal judge after oil and gas drilling interests said it wasn't justified.

The Obama administration issued a new moratorium July 13, three days after the memo.

The White House hopes the revised ban will pass muster with the courts.

The moratoriums were put in place following the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion April 20 that killed 11 people. Millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf after the rig sank.

Latest Developments:

  • Energy and engineering experts and Gulf Coast leaders have asked Salazar to change his mind. They say that drilling was safe before the BP spill, and Gulf communities that depend on the industry are suffering unfairly.
  • In response, Interior Department spokesman Matt Lee-Ashley said they will not be responding to the economic impacts of the moratorium and noted that the Obama administration secured an agreement with BP to set up a $100 million fund for affected rig workers.
  • New rules were released on Friday regarding BP's $20 billion victims compensation fund. The rules basically state that who gets paid and who doesn't will depend largely on how much proof there is that losses were caused by the spill and not by something else, such as the recession.

    The new rules govern emergency claims that can be made between Monday and Nov. 23 at Gulf Coast claims offices, by mail or through the Internet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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