Environment | Law

DC Circuit weighs contempt case against DOI Secretary Salazar





Like two of his predecessors, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has been held in contempt of court but it wasn't for his role in the Cobell trust fund lawsuit.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday considered whether Salazar can be held in contempt for ordering a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He took action in February 2011 due to concerns about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

At issue is whether Salazar's decision conflicts with a court order that overturned a May 2010 moratorium. The energy industry claims he violated the judge's wishes.

Two of Salazar's predecessors -- Gale Norton and Bruce Babbitt -- were held in contempt in the Cobell case. Norton fought the charges and they were vacated by the D.C. Circuit.

Get the Story:
DOJ: Interior Secretary Salazar not in contempt of court for drilling ban after Gulf spill (AP 8/8)