Øbama Moratorium On Drilling Fails
- 2010/06/22 18:00:53
- Read all 103 opinions
Essentially the Judge has said you cannot make new rules retroactively, regarding the 29 permits granted, (one being the failed one)
AP June 22, 2010 01:45 PM EDT
NEW ORLEANS — Judge Martin Feldman blocks offshore drilling moratorium imposed by
Obama administration after Gulf spill.
▓▒░ UPDATE ░▒▓
In an unusually harsh ruling, a federal judge this afternoon blocked
the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater off shore
drilling, slamming the government for relying on "incomprehensible"
studies and making "factually incorrect" arguments that abused "reason
(and) common sense."
The hard-hitting, 22-page opinion by
Federal District Court Judge Martin Feldman said the government failed
to show that the BP oil spill meant all other rigs were also in danger
of failing. As such, he said, the moratorium simply went too far.
Feldman also skewered the administration for mischaracterizing the
views of engineering experts in order to justify the moratorium.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration would appeal
Feldman's ruling to the New Orleans-based federal appeals court.
Feldman called the Deepwater Horizon oil spill "an
unprecedented, sad, ugly and inhuman disaster," but noted it was only
the fourth such incident worldwide in 41 years, and the first ever in
the Gulf of Mexico.
"If some drilling equipment parts are
flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are some airplanes a danger
because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All
mines?" he wrote. "That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed and rather
But he said the government, without
justification, arbitrarily made the sweeping conclusion that "all Gulf
deepwater drilling activities put us in a universal threat of
That arbitrary conclusion already was causing irreparable
economic harm to the Gulf region, he said.
moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig
failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs
drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent
danger," Feldman wrote.
CBSNews.com Special Report: Disaster in the
The Obama Administration issued the
moratorium, which suspends all pending and current drilling operations
of new deepwater wells in the Gulf and in the Pacific, on May 28 after a
30-day safety study. The government consulted government and academic
experts in the study, as well as industry and advocacy groups.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar then issued a report recommending the
six-month moratorium on permits for new wells using floating rigs and
an immediate halt to drilling operations on 33 permitted wells that were
using floating rigs in the Gulf. It defined "deepwater" as greater than
But Feldman slammed the administration for
presenting information to the Court that he characterized as "factually
incorrect." The inaccurate information, he said, "might cause some
apprehension" about the integrity of the study led to the report.
Specifically, Feldman suggested the government misrepresented the
recommendations of seven engineering experts to justify the moratorium.
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