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Breaking: Federal Judge halts Obama's oil drilling ban

From The Washington Times:

A federal judge in New Orleans halted President Obama's deepwater drilling moratorium on Tuesday, saying the government never justified the ban and appeared to mislead the public in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Judge Martin L.C. Feldman issued an injunction, saying that the moratorium will hurt drilling-rig operators and suppliers and that the government has not proved an outright ban is needed, rather than a more limited moratorium.

He also said the Interior Department also misstated the opinion of the experts it consulted. Those experts from the National Academy of Engineering have said they don't support the blanket ban.

... Democrats and Republicans from the Gulf states have called on the president to end the blanket moratorium, saying it is hurting the region.

Oil company executives told Congress last week they would have to move their rigs to other countries because they lose up to $1 million a day per idle rig, and said there are opportunities elsewhere.

A request by the White House for a temporary, voluntary suspension of deep water drilling while oil companies thoroughly reviewed their standard operating and safety procedures would have made sense; any oil company would have gladly complied. At the same time, the White House could have also announced a "house cleaning" at the Minerals Management Service, with the goal of re-establishing the agency's original regulatory compliance enforcement mission.

Instead, President Obama decided to overstep his authority once again. The White House simply does not have the authority to order a ban on the activities of private enterprise. Thankfully the Federal judges in Louisiana have read the Constitution.

More info (including the decision and related rulings) at the Eastern Louisiana District Court website.


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Comments (37)

Barrys having a banner day!... (Below threshold)
914:

Barrys having a banner day!!

Hahahahahahahahaha

What President Dumbass shou... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

What President Dumbass should have done was issued a moratorium on new permits for drilling while the whole process gets reviewed. Obviously, BP has a whole lot of responsibility here, but MMS also failed in its duty, and they are the ones who should have been making sure that BP was complying with the law and MMS's regs.

Hopefully the courts will i... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Hopefully the courts will increasingly play their role as a check and balance to an administration that likes to bully private companies.

Oh and what do you know. Th... (Below threshold)

Oh and what do you know. The Judge involved apparently owns stock in the companies potentially affected.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20100622/ts_ynews/ynews_ts2771

The federal judge who overturned Barack Obama's offshore drilling moratorium reported owning stock in numerous companies involved in the offshore oil industry -- including Transocean, which leased the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to BP prior to its April 20 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico -- according to 2008 financial disclosure reports.
Obama is determined to erad... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Obama is determined to eradicate every private sector industry with high wages for rank-and-file workers, so this blanket ban on drilling was par for the course.

Hopefully the appeals court follows suit and also tells Obama to sod off.

So, Jim X, I know your read... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

So, Jim X, I know your read the decision and know the law so what a judge owned two years ago is relevant to a decision he made using the law. How?
And Obama who personally owns huge chunks (far more than $15k) of two Vanguard funds, one of which dumped 1.5 million shares of BP just before the explosion gave $2 billion of OUR money to Petro-Bra, a Brazilian oil company where George Soros invested $1 Billion. Then Obama bans offshore drilling to all US companies. That was okay, right?

Oh and what do you... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Oh and what do you know. The Judge involved apparently owns stock in the companies potentially affected.

And did you know the Judge gets paid regularly by the government. Guess that disqualifies all judges from hearing cases involving the government.

Don't bother jim-x with Oba... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Don't bother jim-x with Obama's financial dealings. To quote his Obamassiah, those are 'mere distractions'.

Zeldorf, if the judge owned... (Below threshold)

Zeldorf, if the judge owned those stocks at his latest filing, 2 years ago, it is at least possible he still owns those stocks now. So this should be investigated.

And, if it turns out he still owns those stocks, he should have recused himself. This is the exact sort of case that the principal of recusal exists for.

Mac Lorry, the judge's deci... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry, the judge's decision was unlikely to affect his government salary either way. Therefore recusing himself for being in the government doesn't apply.

As for Obama's money, the President is in the executive branch. It is his job to make decisions for the country. Judge's have a different position - that of weighing a case between it's defendants and its plaintiffs, to arrive at justice. It is for this reason that recusal can be required - otherwise a judge's decision can be influence to either one side or the other.

Don't get distracted by jim... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Don't get distracted by jim x's tactics of distraction. He points to the potential conflict of interest, but says nothing what so ever about the substance of the decision.

In fact issuing an injunction is the approriate thing to do here. There is ample reason to sugest that immediate and lasting harm would occur if the moratorium were enforced. There is a reason to believe that the plaintiffs may win their case against the Dept of Interior. Regardless of his personal investments he is obligated to order an injunction when those criteria are met.

Jim x would have you believe that regardless of the facts that this judge should never have ruled and that supposedly some other, non-conflicted judge would have ruled otherwise. I would argue that such would not be the case. Given the high probability that people and businesses would be substantially harmed in the short term by the moratorium and given that there is reason to believe that the plaintiffs might succeed ANY judge would have ruled the same.

It may be that if Interior chooses to fight it they may win. I doubt it personally, but the legal system is set up to favor doing no harm until the fact are established in court. Like the moratorium or not, this was the correct legal ruling.

jim x - you clearly disagre... (Below threshold)
jim m:

jim x - you clearly disagree with the injunction. Please explain to us how it is that there would be no harm done to anyone by letting the morotorium stand until it the case could be heard in court? Do you really expect anyone to believe that losing $1 Million a day is not an immediate and substantial harm?

Do you really think that this was just the judge's pocketbook? What do you say about the Dems who have called for a lifting of the morotorium? Are they on the take too? Or is it just evil republicans and their judges?

JimX....a peanut farmer fro... (Below threshold)
Sir Toby Belch:

JimX....a peanut farmer from Plains, Ga.

jim x - "Mac Lorry, t... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim x - "Mac Lorry, the judge's decision was unlikely to affect his government salary either way. Therefore recusing himself for being in the government doesn't apply."

So he lifted the ban.

What effect did it have on his salery?

To add to jim m's line of questioning... What about the 7 oil experts who made the claim the ban would harm both oil companies and the economy of La? Not to mention may produce unsafe conditions.

Are all they on the take or hold oil stock also?

Mac Lorry, the jud... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Mac Lorry, the judge's decision was unlikely to affect his government salary either way. Therefore recusing himself for being in the government doesn't apply.

None of the judge's holding directly involved the parties in the case and he may have holdings in other companies that would benefit from such a ban. You can't disqualify a judge on such a broad basis. If you could then every Federal judge would have to recues themselves for every case that involves the government on the basis that ruling against the government damages the judges chances for being appointed to a higher court.

It's just the left's way of doing business. If a judge rules against them they try to dig up dirt on the judge. So much for the "rule of law" nonsense the left spouts. Like the spoiled brats common on the left Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced he will issue a new order on a moratorium just hours after a federal judge blocked such a mandate. Hopefully the judge will charge Salazar with contempt and ban him from issuing any more bans.

The White House simply d... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The White House simply does not have the authority to order a ban on the activities of private enterprise.

If the drilling can found be to be unsafe (by evidence), of course, the White House has the authority. This is the nub of the case.

The ruling on Tuesday was the result of a lawsuit filed this month by a coalition of businesses that provide services and equipment to offshore drilling platforms. The coalition asked the judge to block the moratorium, arguing that there was no evidence that existing projects were unsafe.
whereas defenders of the ban say that

resuming deep-water exploratory drilling before new safety measures are established...

" This judge's decision flies in the face of mounting evidence that there are serious safety risks that must be examined with these 33 deep-water rigs before they start drilling again."

Wizbang conservatives, as always reckless and irresponsible, seem mainly concerned about $hort term profits, complain vociferiously about Obama's actions in preventing a hugh spill, or not being able to surround it fast enough, yet they want quick resumption of the other 33deep-water rigs, in the Gulf, before we know what happened; and what we do know is in the series of idiotic corporate measures that led to the spill is shocking. I doubt this is a one off.

Wizbang conservati... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Wizbang conservatives, as always reckless and irresponsible, seem mainly concerned about $hort term profits

Like governor Bobby Jindal said there's a way to satisfy the legitimate safety concerns raised by the Obama administration without imposing a damaging blanket ban on deepwater drilling. However, Obama is not interested in finding a compromise solution that benefits the people of Louisiana, but wants to satisfy the left with a blanket band that keeps getting extended until all the drilling rigs leave the Gulf. The court's action may cause Obama into finding a compromise solution and that's a win win for all but the left.

Conflict-of-interest does n... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Conflict-of-interest does not exist simply because a person owns stock in a company. Most mutual funds, for example, have stock from major corporations in them, and as BP is the world's largest oil exploration firm, it's statistically likely that many people in the courtroom owned stock in BP. Barack the Stale Unicorn probably owns some BP, come to that.

The question is the effect of the investment. There is no evidence the judge personally profited from his decision, in fact BP stock may well continue to decline if other oil companies are able to drill because the ban is lifted. There is no mention of how much stock the judge owned in BP. If the amount is small relative to the rest of his portfolio, then the charge is largely proven false on that basis.

And just a reminder, the Deepwater Horizon used a prototype stabilized platform, and was not moored in the way most deepwater drilling rigs are set up. That is one reason the specific cause of the Deepwater disaster is unknown - it was unprecedented. Also, there is history and long documentation on the other deepwater rigs affected by the ban and ruling. Saying those rigs should be barred from operation because of Deepwater's disaster is like saying no one in LA can drive because Charlie Sheen went on a bender and wrapped his convertible around a pole.

It's stupid from the first word on the Teleprompter-in-Chief.

jim x - you clearl... (Below threshold)
jim x - you clearly disagree with the injunction. Please explain to us how it is that there would be no harm done to anyone by letting the morotorium stand until it the case could be heard in court?

Sure. The point of the moratorium, as I understand it, is to give enough time to get the full story on the BP deep-sea drilling disaster before allowing new drilling operations to occur.

So, the harm in not letting the moratorium stand is that if new drilling starts without a proper understanding of what's needed for safety **from the beginning**, that could lead to another BP-style oilpacalypse.

Do you really expect anyone to believe that losing $1 Million a day is not an immediate and substantial harm?

Considering the greater harm of another BP-style oilcano, **plus** the fact that the companies can easily withstand those (alleged) damages and more than make their money back once they start getting oil? No, I don't think that's big enough damage to outweigh the risk. COnsidering that this ONE SPILL from this one rig - that we were assured could never, ever happen - will end up ruining lives for decades.

Jim x would have y... (Below threshold)
Jim x would have you believe that regardless of the facts that this judge should never have ruled and that supposedly some other, non-conflicted judge would have ruled otherwise.

Jim m would have you believe that the above is what I would have you believe.

But that isn't a true reflection of "what I would have you believe". The substance of what I think and want you to look at is right there in my comments. No subtext needed.

To reiterate, it is extremely likely that this judge has a considerable amount of money that will be affected by his ruling of this case. If this is true, this judge should have recused himself.

We don't know how a different judge would have ruled. That's the point - the amount of investment that this judge is likely to have, is enough to taint his ruling.

You can't disquali... (Below threshold)
You can't disqualify a judge on such a broad basis. If you could then every Federal judge would have to recues themselves for every case that involves the government on the basis that ruling against the government damages the judges chances for being appointed to a higher court.

No. Hypothetical future salary ranges are not and do not affect the principle of recusal. Any more than the possibility that the judge may marry a government official they haven't even met yet.

That's not the standard. The standard is current financial or other relationships that can be affected by the outcome of the decision.

This judge and his likely Transocean holdings from his most recent disclosure, fit that standard in my opinion.

With every oil spill comes ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

With every oil spill comes a load of bilge. Here's a sample from Jimx:

Considering the greater harm of another BP-style oilcano

Considering the Deepwater Horizon diasaster was unprecedented in history, the statistical odds of a similar disaster are laughably small, especially when you consider that the ban applied to all deep-water drilling systems and not just the prototype used in the Horizon rig ...


But here comes some more of Jim's bilge:

the fact that the companies can easily withstand those (alleged) damages and more than make their money back once they start getting oil?

Considering the billions of dollars BP has set aside for claims, expenses, legal costs and so on, when actually measured against BP's financial statements (rather than Jim's odd imagination) the cost is prohibitive and has seriously damaged BP's financial stability.


But Jim is not done bilging:

Considering that this ONE SPILL from this one rig - that we were assured could never, ever happen - will end up ruining lives for decades.

I'm calling you on those claims, Jim the bilger. Where did BP ever promise that a blowout on its rigs "could never, ever happen"? Cite your source or admit you're lying again.

And as for "ruining lives for decades", FDR's "New Deal" and LBJ's "Great Society" both came close, but there's never really been anything that could accomplish that. Even the Exxon Valdex spill that radicals pointed to as so evil, was cleaned up completely in less than 10 years. Will this disaster have permanent effects? Yes, but only to the same extent that any disaster wreaks havoc. Speaking from personal experience, the Gulf Coast suffered more from weather than from oil in the past century and this does not change that.

Jim, if you're going to keep lying, well son you need to learn how to lie smarter. You're just missing the barn completely with those last few attempts.

That's not the sta... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
That's not the standard. The standard is current financial or other relationships that can be affected by the outcome of the decision.

Like I said, "you can't disqualify a judge on such a broad basis." Glad to see you agree. There's no evidence that the Judge has Transocean holdings.

With every attempt at injec... (Below threshold)

With every attempt at injecting reason at Wizbang, there's always a risk that DJ's natural gas will be emitted instead:

Considering the Deepwater Horizon diasaster was unprecedented in history, the statistical odds of a similar disaster are laughably small,

Ha ha ha!! isn't that funny? The Deepwater Horizon was supposed to be safe too. Now there's a disaster that will hurt the gulf for decades and ruin thousands of lives forever. Oh, haha hahaha! That's rich. Sigh...Surely 6 months wait to make sure decades worth of life-ruining disaster doesn't occur again, is **way*** too much effort.

Wow.

Now, you're right in that I overstated the case - BP or others didn't say a spill would **never ever** occur.

But we were told, and had a right to expect, that adequate safety measures were taken and that there was an actual plan of action if the worst case scenario did occur.

As any satellite photo of the gulf will tell you, that didn't happen. For that reason, I don't see how it can possibly be a mistake to pause new drilling until all these problems are resolved.

As for lying, bilge, etc. etc. - to then jump wildly over to a statement that FDR's New Deal came anywhere close to destroying America - as opposed to saving the US from the policies of the conservative Republican Hoover - is as ludicrous a bunch of nonsense as I've seen in a while here.

Some can argue that FDR's policies lengthened the Depression rather than shortened it - I and a majority of economists disagree.

However the idea that FDR's New Deal nearly destroyed America by itself? That's a whole new level of lunacy. Congratulations.

DJ, if you're going to keep typing, you're going to have to learn to logically connect things by actual subject, rather than how much you don't like FDR. By the way, you're welcome for Social Security and Medicare.

Mac Lorry, go up and read #... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry, go up and read # 4. Transocean stocks are in the judge's most recent publicly available disclosure. That's why we need to examine the judges current stocks - to see if he's still invested in them, or was at all prior to BP's oilmageddon.

Post before last has a miss... (Below threshold)

Post before last has a missing / blockquote tag. I guess it's FDR's fault.

JimBilge: Post... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

JimBilge:

Post before last has a missing / blockquote tag. I guess it's FDR's fault.

JimBilge proves his liberalocity as he, like all liberasaurs, blames his mistakes on someone else.

In addition to futilely attempting to co-opt a superior rhetoric for his own bilgy spewage;

and of course the trademark Epic Fail to support his contentions with evidence, reason, or lucid analogy.

Why, it's almost like debating the Unicorn himself, when His Arrogance is deprived of his teleprompter.


.. and just in case you tho... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

.. and just in case you thought you had a slick answer that just got mangled by - ahem "FDR" - JimBilge, your 5:00 attempt at a riposte was shot down in advance way back at 1:37

Also a trait of libs, the self-defeating argument ...

Mac Lorry, go up a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Mac Lorry, go up and read # 4. Transocean stocks are in the judge's most recent publicly available disclosure. That's why we need to examine the judges current stocks - to see if he's still invested in them, or was at all prior to BP's oilmageddon.

The disclosure was from 2008, so like I said "There's no evidence that the Judge has Transocean holdings." Even then his Transocean holdings were less than $15k and could be one dollar. The judge is well aware of the rules of recusal and what amount of Transocean holdings would constitute a conflict of interest. Basically, you're accusing a sitting Federal judge of wrong doing with no evidence.

The disclosure was... (Below threshold)
The disclosure was from 2008, so like I said "There's no evidence that the Judge has Transocean holdings."

Right, which is why I said, way back in # 9:

if the judge owned those stocks at his latest filing, 2 years ago, it is at least possible he still owns those stocks now. So this should be investigated.

And, if it turns out he still owns those stocks, he should have recused himself.

Basically, I'm saying that a sitting judge should prove that he isn't currently invested in a company, as his most recent disclosure show that he is.

DJ-berry: fixed your post f... (Below threshold)

DJ-berry: fixed your post for you.

DJ Bilgy-wilgy proves his conservatocity as he, like all conservasaurs, blames his mistakes on someone else.

In addition to futilely attempting to co-opt a superior rhetoric for his own unintentional irony in accusing someone else of bilgy spewage;

and of course the trademark Epic Fail to support his contentions with evidence, reason, or lucid analogy - including introducing references to FDR from absolutely nowhere relevant.

Why, it's almost like debating the Shrub himself, when His Arrogance is deprived of his teleprompter.

Also a trait of *you* apparently: thinking that because they say something makes it so. I'm not in your mind, so perhaps you can state more explicity what statement of mine you claim was refuted by some statement of yours?

Otherwise, your entire statement of 1:37 was already disputed by me because I say it was. Doesn't work, does it? Then why would I accept that from you?

Basically, I'm say... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Basically, I'm saying that a sitting judge should prove that he isn't currently invested in a company, as his most recent disclosure show that he is.

That assumes the threshold for recusal is less than $15K. The broad low-threshold standard of any self-interest you claim disqualifies the judge in this case also disqualifies all Federal judges from hearing cases that includes those who select Federal judges for advancement. You can't have it one way but not the other as potential promotion is well established in case law as having value, and thus, protecting it is a form of self-interest.

The threshold for recusal is much higher as it must materially impact the judge and the potential gain from less than $15k of stock doesn't come close.

Nice try JimBilge, but you ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Nice try JimBilge, but you need logic to refute an argument. The reason your 5 PM post failed on start was because the claims you raised were refuted by the earlier comment I made. Your inability to read, comprehend and accept this does not make your opinion valid. And no, disputing my post because you disagree with it does not make your post valid, either.

You are neither cogent nor original, neither effective nor genial.

But thanks for playing anyway.

Sorry DJ Bilge, but your in... (Below threshold)

Sorry DJ Bilge, but your invisible earlier comment that you claim exists was already refuted in the comment that came after it. That's just how reality is.

I'd say nice try, but it's really very sad. Your inability to realize that real-world claims require actual, you know, arguments is something you should look into.

You're welcome for trying to play though. I do think you can do better. But if you don't want to, that's really up to you.

But if, say, you want to qu... (Below threshold)

But if, say, you want to quote the *actual argument* that you are claiming refutes one of my arguments, that could be a different story. You could actually rise to the occasion.

How about it? Want to play a grownup game?

So sad to see Jimmy reduced... (Below threshold)
Captain Bwahaha:

So sad to see Jimmy reduced to this level of self-pity.

* snirk *

You've done a fine job DJ m... (Below threshold)
Milord Douchebaag:

You've done a fine job DJ my boy. A credit to all of us Douchebags.




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