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Gulf oil spill: Obama moratorium on drilling is struck down

A federal judge in Louisiana has struck down a deep-water drilling ban imposed by the Obama administration in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The ruling came in a case brought by companies dependent on the oil industry in the Gulf Coast, and was supported by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. They contended that halting work on 33 drilling rigs had caused undue harm to the state's economy.

In a 22-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman called the Horizon spill "an unprecedented, sad, ugly and inhuman disaster." However, he continued: "What seems clear is that the federal government has been pressed by what happened on the Deepwater Horizon into an otherwise sweeping confirmation that all gulf deep-water drilling activities put us all in a universal threat of irreparable harm."

This "blanket moratorium, with no parameters," he wrote, "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 agreed that the plaintiffs, a group of oil rig service companies, were able to show that the Obama administration acted "arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the moratorium."

-- Richard Fausset
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This situation covered by MOST NEWSPAPERS in the U.S fail to analyse the existing REGULATORY AMENDMENTS to the inspection, security and ENFORCEMENT of oil righs safety nets! Please, tell me where these outlines are, show me the records where they have been ENFORCED and I will say, lift the moratorium!

The bottom line here, the FEW jobs put on hold to investigate and UPGRADE/REINFORCE obviously flawed safety FEDERAL REGULATORY GUIDELINES that should be IMPOSED on exceedingly powerful OIL COMPANIES has failed.

An oil rig just does not explodes, fall into the ocean and its valve system totally fail to shut down and avoid the worse and most difficult disaster to REPAIR ever seen by sheer "accident". I say MORATORIUM is justified for NEW DRILLING as this is the case.

If America does not LEARN from this incompetent accident it never will!! Tighen up your belt America. This ocean is irreplaceable. So are the residents of its coasts!

I think the judge is right in this case because the injunction is not the solution to this problem. We need to find a way to clear up the mess first than we should look for the future preventive measures.

This oil spill is a huge mess, in more ways than one. I can understand the local government not wanting to halt all offshore drilling because it would hurt the state's economy, but stronger safety measures should be fully enforced, immediately.

This edited comment by the judge seems odd:

This "blanket moratorium, with no parameters," he wrote, "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."

It appears to me the judge missed the point: blanket moratoriums are for situations where we don't yet know the real cause. Unfortunately, in order to find any future problems, a universal moratorium needs to be put into place UNTIL the problem is more clearly understood. And, his "... with no parameters," comment is off base since the moratorium is for wells deeper than 500 feet. Remember, the oil well disaster off Mexico's coast in 1979, Ixtoc I, was in 160 feet of water.

Maybe his Transocean holdings and various other energy investments do, in fact, pose a bias on the judges part. The only way to find out is to appeal.

Nw let's open up shallow water drilling again. It's much safer.

This is a smart judge, not intimidated by the buffoon in chief and his partners in crime.

I agree with the judge's decision. All the facts in the case are missing from this article, I suggest reading about this case from other news sources as well.

Just a couple of items worth mentioning:

The Interior Department quoted experts from the National Academy of Engineering to justify the ban, but those experts testified they did not agree.

The oil rigs shut down are paying about $1Million per day to lease them. If the moratorium continued these rigs would be moved to other deep waters such as the coast of South America. Even if that's OK this is not how it should be done.

I'm not arguing that a moratorium is not needed, but if it is the Administration should do it right. Quote experts correctly, build a defensible argument.

This may be negligence on BP's part compounded by lax oversight by MMS regulators, or it may really be an unforeseeable once in a million act of God.

An "unprecedented, sad, ugly and inhuman disaster" would be an apt way of describing that oily little bastard Bobby Jindal and the corporations with whom he's in league. But Marty Feldman, having a bad judge day, failed to connect the dots.

What else is new?

Fine. Maybe the next time this happens, Bobby ought to be told he can build his own damn sand castles without any help from Uncle Sam.

2012 HERE WE COME!!!!!! (but, at least we're enjoying the ride!!!)

Complete and utter BS. The "industry" is past its technical expertise as admitted multiple times during our current "DEEP WATER" drilling problem. They don't know how to fix it and we are going to allow them to set more booby-traps even deeper. Do you realize after the mile to the bottom of the sea, they need to go nearly another mile? That is without question way too risky. No one can do anything about the water pressure which can't be worked in and tends to create some interesting reactions. Frozen methane clouds roaming the oceans that can actually sink ships if it warms up a bit. How can anyone say its time to drill deeper? For what? a bigger disaster.

People turning this into an Obama bashing session are too far of the mark to take seriously, but certainly annoying. Stop drinking the right wing koolaid long enough to realize this isn't a political issue. Its a survival issue.

The time of oil for cheep transportation is over. We can't afford to burn oil as gas, its far too valuable for that anymore. We have to get real about not just the cost to the economy but to the enviroment. The longer we wait the more painful the eventual collapse will be.

Jim Mooney: Perhaps you missed the part where the judge said the govt LIED about its support from "the experts." Oh, I'm sorry, you are a liberal. A lie is equivalent to the truth for a long as the liar is a liberal.

Fine. But let's not go crying to the federal government if another oil rig explodes.

Gee - I wonder how much money or stock Judge Marty Feldman has invested in companies that are drilling off-shore?

Obama is going to have to seek other ways to ruin the economy.

I prefer to assume that if one rig failed, others might. We've already lost the Gulf Coast for many years, with a possibility that the Eastern Seaboard may also be harmed.
Of course, if you are a Louisiana judge, you've probably been bought and sold by the oil corporations many times over. Hopefully this judgement will be overruled.

So to pre-answer any queries: Yes, only 1 oil executive has ever gotten his wings. Ahhhhhh...

Unbelievable. This one underwater oil volcano is enough to bring permanent damage to the planets oceans, which support all life on Earth. OF COURSE "all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger."

How is this judge so blind?

I love this logic. Did you know every time an oil rig explodes an oil executive gets his wings?

No need to understand the problem, what caused it or anything else. Money, money, money. Not safety, security and satisfied.

Is it just me or do all conservatives want any and all money making opportunities to be unregulated, unsanctioned, and unpunishable if something possibly goes wrong...but they can tell others how to live their life (ie NO on Gay marriage, NO on the legalization of drugs less harmful than the ones currently for sale to the public, NO to clean cars, etc)

Whatta country! I can't wait to vote (seriously, I can't, it's the only way my voice is ever, truly heard).

Everything Dear Leader does or doesn't do seems to make matters worse, the oil spill, health care, the economy, jobs, foreign affairs, you name it.

He's got the reverse Midas touch, everything he touches turns to doo-doo.

lessee now...they don't KNOW what caused the current disaster so it's business as normal. Mr. President, you are in the clear, but if anything else happens the Reoublicans wion't be in the White House for 30 years.
Robert Vaughn Herndon

Judge Feldman's investments in Oil & drilling, including within the Gulf of Mexico:

KBR Inc (Haliburton)
Chesapeake Energy
Provident Energy
Hercules Offshore Drilling
Parker Drilling
TXCO Reserves
El Paso
EV Energy Partners
ATP Oil & Gas

Isn't the above considered "conflict" & shouldn't he have been recused?

There you have it, Barrack.

You are not infallible.

Listen to the judge; he has a clear mind and not swayed by special interests.

A Louisiana Judge Blocks a Presidential Order?

A Federal Judge that was Appointed to his position Blocked a Presidential Order?

Who is running this Country?

Obama administration acted "arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the moratorium."


Of course, O'Buffoon's AG Eric Holder will file an appeal.

Gee, I wonder whose pocket the judge is in (see #19) His holdings in TransOcean.

Great news for the cash straped State of LA. Bad news of Obama because he thought he was god. Too bad, so sad.

Why stop drilling? Just because we're unable stop an oil well, in over 500 feet of water, from leaking? No bid deal. Drill, baby, drill! Spill, baby, spill! Kill, baby, kill!

I think people have to start thinking, this is not about jobs, it is about survival of species. Screw your jobs, learn how to do something else that does not cause damage. The judge says that there was not enough evidence of the threat possed by deep water oil rigs... at tha point someone should have put an oily pelican on his desk and said "here, happy?"

Sometimes you can see something coming. They've defeated the ban, will start drilling again, and there will be another explosion and spill. It's in the cards - ordained from above. We're too stupid to learn lessons until our face is rubbed in it again and again.

the next spill is all on jindal and his petroleum masters.

We certainly know who's boss in this country - Big Oil. Take that Obama. You've already had your ears boxed by Big Insurance, Big Banks, and Big Pharma.

This is no longer a democracy. It's a Corpocracy.

FINALLY-- A reality check for the Obama administration. One can assume Obama has, more or less, written the gulf states off in 2012, as far as the electoral map goes. Fortunately, this spill has adversely affected Southern states. Had this accident been off the coast of New England or California, he might not have gone golfing.

"Arbitrary and capricious" to halt use of the deepwater wells? Sure, the judge's ruling makes perfect sense...I mean, just because ONE Ford Pinto explodes and kills people doesn't mean that we should stop using other Pintos....

Good to hear some common sense. Planes crash, houses catch fire, mine explode, so, what, stop everything? Life need to move on. Like or not, we need oil.


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