WASHINGTON -- The White House said Tuesday it will immediately appeal a federal judge s ruling against the Obama administration s moratorium on new deepwater drilling.

A New Orleans judge on Tuesday blocked the six-month ban imposed in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, saying the Interior Department had failed to provide adequate reasons for it.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, defended the moratorium and promised an immediate appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gibbs said President Barack Obama believes strongly that drilling at such depths without knowing what happened to cause the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to explode does not make any sense and puts the safety of workers at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford.

Obama wanted the moratorium to be in place until a commission he appointed could complete a six-month investigation.

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