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Appeals court issues a stay on drilling ruling

A federal appeals court has blocked a judge's order requiring regulators to act on several drilling permit applications.

A federal appeals court has blocked a judge's order requiring regulators to act on several drilling permit applications.

The federal government filed court documents earlier this month saying it may have to deny the applications if regulators must make a decision within 30 days as ordered. The order was issued by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who overturned the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling. That moratorium followed BP PLC's oil spill last year in the Gulf of Mexico.

Feldman ruled last month that the government must act on five applications within 30 days. He later said his ruling also applies to two other permits.

But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on Tuesday, blocking Feldman's ruling pending the outcome of the government's appeal.

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