NBC's Pete Williams reports that after vowing to seek an appeal quickly, Obama administration officials now say the Justice Department will refrain from any legal action in response to yesterday's court order temporarily blocking the Interior Department's moratorium on offshore drilling:
The plan now is for the government to seek a new moratorium, doing so in a way that avoids some of the legal problems identified by the judge who issued yesterday's injunction. For example, the judge chided the Interior Department for claiming that a panel of outside experts had endorsed the moratorium issued in late May, when, in fact, they favored something less sweeping.
Once the Interior Department issues its new moratorium, the government fully expects another legal challenge and very likely another court order blocking it. But on the second round, with a modified moratorium, the Justice Department believes it would be on firmer ground to seek an appeal.