Bloomberg: Obama temporarily halted all drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet on May 27 to give a presidential commission time to study improvements in the safety of offshore operations. More than a dozen Louisiana offshore service and supply companies sued U.S. regulators to lift the ban. The U.S. said it will appeal the decision.
U.S. District Judge yesterday granted a preliminary injunction, halting the moratorium. He also “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the ban. Government lawyers told Feldman the ban was based on findings in a U.S. report following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast in April.
“The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium,” Feldman said in his 22-page decision. “The blanket 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.”
“The court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the agency, but the agency must ‘cogently explain why it has exercised its discretion in a given manner,’” Feldman said, citing a previous ruling. “It has not done so.”
Feldman in a separate order yesterday “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the drilling moratorium, finding the offshore companies would otherwise incur “irreparable harm.”
Ouch! Judge Feldman was none too kind to the administration. I think Feldman’s comments come with a tiny kick of disapproval for how Obama has handled the oil spill.
Interior Secretary isn’t giving up, he is seeking to impose an new moratorium.
Associated Press: WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater drilling after a federal judge struck down the existing one.
Salazar said in a statement Tuesday evening that the new order will contain additional information making clear why the six-month drilling pause was necessary in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. The judge in New Orleans who struck down the moratorium earlier in the day complained there wasn't enough justification for it.
Salazar pointed to indications of inadequate safety precautions by industry on deepwater wells. He said he would issue a new order in the coming days showing that a moratorium is needed.
The White House also is appealing the judge's ruling
Hopefully that will fail too. As Gateway Pundit points out, the administration wasn’t honest in imposing the first one.
What I never understood about the moratorium is how the administration could so easily dismiss the “systemic risk” the moratorium could create. You will recall at the beginning of this administration, they feared the systemic risk collapsed companies could cause to the economy was of such a concern that they had to take over car companies, insurance companies and banks. Yet systemic risk isn’t even considered for something so vital to an industrialized nation as energy production. Is it that they do not understand the vital role oil plays in our economy or is it that the moratorium serves their needs to bring about Cap and Trade?
Via: Associated Press
Via: Gateway Pundit