Today the U.S. Department of the Interior lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. As outlined in this memorandum of decision, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has instructed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly known as the “Minerals Management Service”) to permit drilling by operators that comply with the relevant regulatory requirements, including new drilling safety rules, and have their CEOs certify to such compliance. The WaPo reports on the decision here.
UPDATE: I should have added that the lifting of the moratorium does not mean that drilling will automatically resume. Would-be drillers will have to apply for and obtain permits from BOEMRE, and this could take some time — weeks, if not months.