As oil continues to gush from BP’s leaking Gulf of Mexico well, a courtroom battle is looming over the future of deepwater drilling.
The Obama administration wants to reinstate a six-month moratorium imposed in response to the spill. It was blocked by a judge, citing concerns about the economic impact.
The US government is eager to avoid another well blowout but the industry remains determined to battle the ban.
The worst oil spill in American history has soiled the shores of every US Gulf Coast state.
BP has dampened press reports that it might be able to stem the 80-day-old leak sooner than forecast, sticking to its August target.
The region is still recovering from Hurricane Alex. A Category two storm when it hit, it delayed efforts to capture oil from the leaking well. Forecasters are now reporting a new tropical depression forming over the southern Gulf.
US court to rule on deepwater oil drilling ban