Alaska seeks to overturn delay in Arctic drilling

The state of Alaska has filed a petition in federal court to overturn the Obama administration’s moratorium on drilling in federal waters of the Arctic, even though Interior Department officials insist that no such formal moratorium exists.

The state’s legal petition, filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, says the Interior Department “arbitrarily and capriciously imposed” a moratorium on drilling in federal waters off Alaska after the Deepwater Horizon disaster “without considering and weighing the potential effects on Alaska, including economic harm to the State of Alaska and Alaska residents.”

The unusual move is backed by Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, who railed against the economic damage a moratorium would cause in the state.

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