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“It will not measurably reduce risk further and it will have a lasting impact on the nation’s economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill,” the engineers said, urging Mr. Salazar “to overcome emotion with logic.”

In another letter, they said Mr. Salazar “should be free to recommend whatever he thinks is correct, but he should not be free to use our names to justify his political decisions.”

It’s the sort of thing Mr. Obama, as a presidential candidate in 2008, said he would try to avoid, and he repeatedly blasted President George W. Bush for placing ideology above science.

Last year, in announcing a new science policy, the president again blasted Mr. Bush for forcing “a false choice between sound science and moral values,” and vowed to let scientists do their work unfettered by a political agenda.

Gulf state lawmakers, though, said Mr. Obama has failed to follow the science in the case of the drilling moratorium.

“Clearly, President Obama is allowing politics to trump science,” Mr. Cassidy said.

Asked why Mr. Obama isn’t following the recommendations of the scientists, his top energy and environment aide said it’s the prerogative of the administration, not the scientists, to make policy.

“Mr. Salazar made a decision to recommend a moratorium. That was a policy decision. What the experts were providing was their expert advice but not the policy decisions that were obviously under the purview of the secretary of the interior,” said Carol Browner, director of the White House’s office of energy and climate change policy.

Gulf-state lawmakers from both parties have urged Mr. Obama to reverse his decision, and warn that tens of thousands of jobs will be lost if the 33 rigs that were drilling in the Gulf at the time of the moratorium aren’t restarted.

“The president ought not kick the people of Louisiana when we’re down, and that’s what the president’s moratorium does,” Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, said at a bipartisan news conference called Tuesday to urge lifting of the ban.

Oil executives told a congressional panel this week that they are losing up to $1 million a day per rig that’s left idle. They said they will have to move their drilling rigs from the Gulf to countries where they can drill.

“This stuff is too expensive to let it just sit around,” said Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobile Corp.

Rep. John Culberson, Texas Republican and a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said he will force a vote on an upcoming spending bill to try to overturn the moratorium.