Hornbeck Offshore Services, et al v. Salazar, et al, No. 11-30936 (5th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
This case arose from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico where an explosion killed 11 workers, caused the drilling platform to sink, and resulted in a major uncontrolled release of oil. At Presidential direction, those events prompted the Department of the Interior to prohibit all new and existing oil and gas drilling operations on the Outer Continental Shelf for six months. The district court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of the moratorium. At issue on appeal was whether the Interior's subsequent actions violated a specific provision of the court's injunction, justifying a finding of civil contempt. The court held that even though the Interior immediately took steps to avoid the effect of the injunction, the court concluded that none of those actions violated the court's order. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on April 9, 2013.