Federal judge blocks Obama’s six-month moratorium on offshore drilling

posted at 3:56 pm on June 22, 2010 by Allahpundit

A tough call, actually. Thousands of jobs depend on continued drilling, but given MMS’s horrible track record of oversight, who knows how many other companies might have cut corners on their rigs’ safety mechanisms and are now risking a second oil apocalypse? Said the judge, a Reagan appointee, in criticizing the blanket moratorium, “If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was?” The answer: It depends. If the threat is big enough, then … yeah, sometimes blanket solutions are the answer.

Is the threat here big enough, though? Let’s ask the experts. From the court’s opinion:

Much to the government’s discomfort and this Court’s uneasiness, the [government's] Summary also states that “the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading. The experts charge it was a “misrepresentation.” It was factually incorrect. Although the experts agreed with the safety recommendations contained in the body of the main Report, five of the National Academy experts and three of the other experts have publicly stated that they “do not agree with the six month blanket moratorium” on floating drilling.

Long story short: If the feds want a blanket moratorium, they need to explain in exquisite detail why, in light of the economic hardship that would result, such a draconian step is necessary. Instead, they did pretty much the opposite of that. Your words of the day are “arbitrary and capricious”:

After reviewing the Secretary’s Report, the Moratorium Memorandum, and the Notice to Lessees, the Court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium. The Report, invoked by the Secretary, describes the offshore oil industry in the Gulf and offers many compelling recommendations to improve safety. But it offers no time line for implementation, though many of the proposed changes are represented to be implemented immediately. The Report patently lacks any analysis of the asserted fear of threat of irreparable injury or safety hazards posed by the thirty-three permitted rigs also reached by the moratorium. It is incident specific and driven: Deepwater Horizon and BP only. None others…

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an unprecedented, sad, ugly and inhuman disaster. 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 deepwater drilling activities put us all in a universal threat of irreparable harm. While the implementation of regulations and a new culture of safety are supportable by the Report and the documents presented, 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 White House has already said it plans to appeal, but 12 of the 16 judges on the Fifth Circuit are Republican appointees so its prospects for victory are dim. Exit question: Time for a patented Obama/Holder “negotiation” with the oil industry asking them to “voluntarily” cease drilling for a few months while MMS checks everything out?


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It is indefensible.

[jeff_from_mpls on June 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM]

Of course it is, in my opinion.

Plainly, with your example Bush had a better grasp of reality, more wisdom, and better discretion than Obama.

AP’s analogy is still sound and the court has started weighing in on the defensibility and bounds of Obama exercising his authority.

Dusty on June 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Look, I agree with all that you said, even that there is a difference between this scenario and 9/11, but analogies do not need to be complete parallels. AP’s comparison is more that sufficient to establish the Administration’s authority to declare a moratorium generically, which is what he was defending, not that the Administration’s authority should by law be upheld by the courts in this instance because of it’s application (it’s details).

Dusty on June 22, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Well, look, I don’t think that accidents (as far as you and I know) should be put in the same group as intentional acts of war.

Jeff also pointed out how in some ways the bridge collapse in Minn was much more similar to the oil spill and yet no-one was calling on banning bridges the next day – at least as far as I know. I would wager that the probability of a bridge collapsing within a short period of the Minn bridge collapse is the same as the likelihood of another oil spill happening in the near future.

However, if we are attacked once by a foreign entity, I’d wager the probability would be significantly HIGHER of another immediate attack – in fact, 9-11 demonstrates this is true.

Another irksome point was that it’s not altogether clear how shutting down oil rigs is the same as grounding airlines during an attack … in the name of national defense. Were we grounding the planes for any other reason – that would be absurd if so.

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Wait! You mean we actually DO have other branches of government that actually DO provides checks and balances?

Well, this is going to break someone’s heart to discover he’s isn’t actually an absolute dictator.

CC

CapedConservative on June 22, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Gulf Oil Spill Information Hub

Stay current with legal analysis and information on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

http://www.lexisnexis.com/Community/emergingissues/landing/GulfOilSpillInformationHub.aspx

canopfor on June 22, 2010 at 4:58 PM

God help us all if someone tells our president that 80+ people have died on our highways since midnight.

rogerb on June 22, 2010 at 4:51 PM

He’ll just name a highway after himself… Sun Chairman Py

Where’s Thomasaur to fill in the abbreviation?

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Your words of the day are “arbitrary and capricious”

Actually better words would be intentional and malicious

txmomof6 on June 22, 2010 at 4:59 PM

If it were really an issue of deep water drilling being so-super-mega-dangerous, we wouldn’t be borrowing $2M to loan to Brazil’s Petrobras (govt owned, with annual profits of $15M last year alone) so they can drill nearly 6x as deep as what Obama’s trying to put a moratorium on (>= 500 feet vs Petrobras’ proposed 2,700 feet).

This is just politics, and should be treated as such.

RachDubya on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Duh. Do we halt all commercial air travel when a plane crashes?

Why no, we don’t.

radioboyatl on June 22, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Not totally correct. As others have noted, all air travel was grounded after 9/11 for a couple of days.

But in the past there have been plenty of times when numerous airplanes have been grounded after a single crash. Older Boeing 737s, for example, were temporarily grounded in 1988 after the Aloha Airlines decompression, and 10 years later almost 200 of the same planes were grounded at the same time after wiring problems were discovered.

And just 2 years ago Southwest grounded almost 40 planes at the same time, due to failed inspections. American Airlines also grounded a bunch of their MD-80s in 2008 for hydraulic problems.

And in 1979, the FAA grounded DC-10s after the horrific Chicago crash. They actually yanked the certifications for the plane. Many other DC-10s worldwide were also grounded at the same time.

Del Dolemonte on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Actually better words would be intentional and malicious

txmomof6 on June 22, 2010 at 4:59 PM

10000+

CC

CapedConservative on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

this statement was misleading

Does “misleading” mean “lying”?

duggersd on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

God help us all if someone tells our president that 80+ people have died on our highways since midnight.

rogerb on June 22, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Or all the people harmed in Nashville and elsewhere by dihydrogen monoxide.

teke184 on June 22, 2010 at 5:01 PM

HA!

tx2654 on June 22, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Also, how about Barry just not ignore memos about cracks next time. Isn’t that sufficient to prevent this from happening again?

RachDubya on June 22, 2010 at 5:02 PM

BREAKING NEWS: FLY LANDS ON OBAMA’S FACE.

portlandon on June 22, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Caption Contest!

upinak on June 22, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Exit question: Time for a patented Obama/Holder “negotiation” with the oil industry asking them to “voluntarily” cease drilling for a few months while MMS checks everything out?

No. This is different: these companies are not the wrongdoers. Also, Obama/Holder haven’t the leverage to use against them. If they did, the companies would never have filed suit.

chris999 on June 22, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Prior to President Bush grounding Air Traffic on the morning of 9-11-2001:

1) the cause of the plane crashes had been identified

2) that cause was demonstrated NOT to be a local cause because multiple planes were hijacked

Obama owes us 1) an identified cause for the oil spill, and 2) grounds for believing the cause is not an idiosyncratic or local one.

Only then will he meet the Bush standard.

Is anybody really surprised that we now have concrete proof that President Bush is intellectually superior to President Obama?

I’m not.

jeff_from_mpls on June 22, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Have you ever heard of a product recall? Why recall all products when accidents are only likely to happen with a small percentage of them?

Allahpundit on June 22, 2010 at 4:27 PM

1. I have never heard of a product recall ordered arbitrarily by POTUS.

2. Product recalls do not put a moratorium on an entire industry. This would be like Tylenol being recalled and every other over the counter drug factory gets shut down too.

angryed on June 22, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Exit question: Time for a patented Obama/Holder “negotiation” with the oil industry asking them to “voluntarily” cease drilling for a few months while MMS checks everything out?
==============================

I wouldn’t let the Mineral Management Services near
my grandson’s tiny pool!!(sarc)

canopfor on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

But did you read the excerpts from the opinion? The six month time period is arbitrary and capricious. It was just pulled out of a hat.

chris999 on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

There are existing requirements to pressure test and visually inspect the BOP by a 3rd party ANYTIME casing is run and cemented on an oil well, this is already the case for Southern California. I would imagine federal requirments in the Gulf are just as demanding, if not more so. The FEDS also have existing oil spill response and containment procedures in place, or you are refused a well drilling permit.

dthorny on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Is anybody really surprised that we now have concrete proof that President Bush is intellectually superior to President Obama?

I’m not.

jeff_from_mpls on June 22, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Or less conniving. As Rahm might say, it’s a philosophical point of view the Golfing President has…

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

[MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM]

Is it your position that the President has the authority to declare a moratorium on an activity but the devil is in the details?

Dusty on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

He’ll just name a highway after himself… Sun Chairman Py

Where’s Thomasaur to fill in the abbreviation?

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 4:58 PM

MeatHeadinCA: That highway rolls straight through,

Kick *ss Pass!!!:)

canopfor on June 22, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Said the judge, a Reagan appointee, in criticizing the blanket moratorium, “If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are?

Obviously not. There were over 3,000 oil drilling rigs in operation in 2005 when four Category 5 hurricanes swept through the area, and NONE of them leaked.

It was already revealed that the safety inspection was “waived” for the Deepwater Horizon rig that eventually exploded. Why should other, responsible drillers who DID respect regulations be punished for BP’s negligence? What did THEY do wrong?

If the BP well actually did produce 60,000 barrels per day (as is estimated), at $75 per barrel the oil would be worth $4.5 million per day. The $20 billion “damages fund” will cost BP over 12 years’ production revenues.

It is painfully obvious to all oil companies drilling in the Gulf that Deepwater Horizons was a financial and PR disaster for BP, which no other oil company would risk repeating in today’s political environment. Chances are, enginers on every currently-drilling rig in the Gulf are double-checking and triple-checking their equipment, with an attitude similar to Europe after World War II, NEVER AGAIN!

Offshore oil drilling provides needed energy to our economy when done responsibly, and is dangerous to the environment when done irresponsibly, so the Federal Government has the right and duty to regulate it and punish wrongdoing, including BP in this case. But the other drillers in the Gulf are innocent until proven guilty, and should be allowed to drill. If the Government had done its due diligence with Deepwater Horizons, this might not have happened…

Steve Z on June 22, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Jeez, oil drilling was shut down because we don’t know the cause. There was no question as to the cause of airlines “crashing” on 9/11. No comparison.

bopbottle on June 22, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Over 40 people were shot over the weekend in Chicago. Obama should declare an immediate “six month blanket moratorium” of activity in Chicago.

Basil Fawlty on June 22, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Once again lazy blogging ignores that there is a like case in district court in Houston being heard by a Clinton appointee. It is a suit brought by Diamond Offshore the second largest offshore drilling company in the world, to Transocean.

The Federalies only have ideology and no legal standing for their moratorium in the first place.

Kermit on June 22, 2010 at 5:13 PM

That’s how a United States District Court judge says, “You lie!”

SWLiP on June 22, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Is it your position that the President has the authority to declare a moratorium on an activity but the devil is in the details?

Dusty on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

I don’t like the idea of grounding/banning/moratoriums &c. I realize that this might be needed during an attack, where Congress has the duty to protect/defend. I also realize that this drilling is happening on Federal Lands/Waters. So, I’d assume that Obama has some authority, but how does he have The Authority and why does the gov’t control these waters so heavily anyway?

I see this as a slippery slope and I’m not seeing a whole lot of actual first principles being applied …

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Why not just schedule complete inspections of each facility one by one? What exactly are they suppose to be doing during this six months? It doesn’t seem logical.

Cindy Munford on June 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Why not just schedule complete inspections of each facility one by one? What exactly are they suppose to be doing during this six months? It doesn’t seem logical.

Cindy Munford on June 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

AND an investigation into both BP and the gov’t regulators…

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 5:29 PM

These things make your head hurt.

This issue here, with a judge ruling on it, should be whether Obama has the authority in law to do what he did. How well or stupidly, arbitrarily or capriciously he did it, isn’t the issue.

I guess the judge is implying that Obama has the authority if certain conditions are met, in terms of the character of the original problem. But who in this Hot Air audience, or in any other, is making that distinction?

I am uneasy with a judge ruling on the basis of factors like whether all offshore oil equipment is likely to fail, or only some, and one’s philosophial orientation to that. This is angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff. Did Obama have statutory authority to impose the moratorium? If so, then the judiciary shouldn’t be second-guessing his thought process. That’s the people’s job, at the ballot box.

I despise this moratorium and frankly believe Obama acted in bad faith. But the judiciary should be looking at what the law says, not at the decision process Obama used.

J.E. Dyer on June 22, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Allah is right about the emergency aspects of placing moratoriums on an activity by the President – and any President has emergency powers to act according to the conditions. What strikes me about this issue though is not the various emergencies everyone here is making analogous, but the RESPONSE to the the emergency.

In this case the response is capricious and arbitrary. But the best analogy I think is McCain suspending his campaign to deal with the financial crisis. An obvious overreaction and panic under fire.

JonPrichard on June 22, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Duh. Do we halt all commercial air travel when a plane crashes?

Why no, we don’t.

We did on 9/11 when four crashed. Like I said, all depends on the nature and gravity of the threat.

Allahpundit on June 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM

And, in 1977 or ’78, a major crash by a DC-10 was found to be caused by the design of the plane itself. IIRC, all DC-10s were immediately grounded and eventually taken out of service altogether.

Tuning Spork on June 22, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Allahpundit on June 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Did the four planes crash due to an accident?
Or was it intentional?

With that 911 analogy, the blanket moratorium would only make sense if the rig was intentionally blown up.

So what is the real reason behind the moratorium?

DSchoen on June 22, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Why not just schedule complete inspections of each facility one by one? What exactly are they suppose to be doing during this six months? It doesn’t seem logical.

Cindy Munford on June 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

AND an investigation into both BP and the gov’t regulators…

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 5:29 PM

This was already completed in May. Additionally, firms offering safety inspections are busier than a one armed paperhanger since the day after the explosion. You see private industry is much more flexible and self regulating than the Ideologues want you to believe.

Kermit on June 22, 2010 at 5:51 PM

But the judiciary should be looking at what the law says, not at the decision process Obama used.

Well no, an American President is neither king nor dictator. Those affected by decisions have a right to redress issues directly to the government through petitions to the courts, and if necessary, have immediate stays granted. That too is part of the law.

JonPrichard on June 22, 2010 at 5:53 PM

[MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2010 at 5:18 PM]

I may be a little more receptive to the idea of groundings/banning/moratoriums than you but not much. But I sympathize with your position, have the same questions on breadth of regulation, and agree with your conclusions.

Dusty on June 22, 2010 at 5:54 PM

“If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was?” The answer: It depends. If the threat is big enough, then … yeah, sometimes blanket solutions are the answer.

Well, on 9/11, Bush stopped all air traffic coming, and going. It put a dent on airlines, who to this day, are still trying to recover that loss. Add the new fed rules, mandates, and fuel costs, and watch for it. Airlines very well may topple over the next few years.

The same thing would happen to the oil industry. While I can understand the airline shut down…that was only for a week. This was 6 months, and most likely more. This would destroy the country, and I have no doubts that Obama knows this.

capejasmine on June 22, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Duh. Do we halt all commercial air travel when a plane crashes?

Why no, we don’t.
We did on 9/11 when four crashed. Like I said, all depends on the nature and gravity of the threat.

Allahpundit on June 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM

And on that date, the nature and gravity of the threat was terrorism not the aviation industry. Unlike the enviros and leftists I don’t think the oil industry is a threat.

jack herman on June 22, 2010 at 6:00 PM

And, in 1977 or ‘78, a major crash by a DC-10 was found to be caused by the design of the plane itself. IIRC, all DC-10s were immediately grounded and eventually taken out of service altogether.

Tuning Spork on June 22, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Actually, that was the 1979 DC-10 crash in Chicago I mentioned earlier-and it wasn’t the plane design that caused that crash, it was a faulty maintenance procedure that caused one of the engines to fall off. The mechanics used a short cut to take off and reinstall the engine, by taking the engine and its pylon off together, not just taking the engine itself off. This short cut apparently saved several man-hours, but in this case proved fatal. The FAA fined American Airlines $500,000 for using the faulty procedure, and later fined Continental $100 grand for doing the same thing.

You might be thinking of an earlier design flaw with the DC-10′s cargo doors, which led to a major crash in France of a Turkish Airlines DC-10 in 1974.

Del Dolemonte on June 22, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

But did you read the excerpts from the opinion? The six month time period is arbitrary and capricious. It was just pulled out of a hat.

chris999 on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Maybe, maybe not. 6 months from when the moratorium was issued would be after the November 2010 elections, no?

Del Dolemonte on June 22, 2010 at 6:17 PM

All I can say is I love it when Obama is called a liar by a judge. I feel like sending him a thank you note.

SC.Charlie on June 22, 2010 at 6:24 PM

J.E. Dyer at 5:40 p.m.:

But the judiciary should be looking at what the law says, not at the decision process Obama used.

Your reference to the word “process” should give you the first hint as to why you’re incorrect. When the President declares a moratorium by fiat, he deprives individuals of their ability to make a living; i.e., he takes away their liberty. He needs to be able to show that the decision was well-reasoned. Otherwise, his moratorium constitutes a taking without due process.

Judge Feldman has a pretty easy time of it in explaining why the Administration failed to adequately justify its actions.

SWLiP on June 22, 2010 at 6:30 PM

As a result of Salazar’s ‘reorganization’ of the MMS, announced shortly after the accident, along with the departure of key senior MMS management, and scapegoating of the MMS folks in general, the MMS is is a charred, smoking ruin with body parts laying around. The moratorium was announced by Salazar, in part, to provide time and cover for the Interior Department to rebuild an organization it destroyed for purely political purposes. Even if the moratorium was lifted tomorrow, there is no functioning federal regulatory office capable of handling drilling permits, rig inspections, technical reviews or other tasks required in the pre-DISCOVERER HORIZON environment. I’m just waiting for Salazar or Obama being forced to acknowledge this.

16MPG on June 22, 2010 at 6:37 PM

The spill is a catastrophe and we don’t have a clue how to stop it as far as I can tell. If he put the stops on drilling so we could find out what caused this rig to blow up and how to prevent this kind of accident from ever happening again, and how to fix it if it does, and how to clean the mess that’s still being made, then lets keep it on for now. Since I don’t really see a lot of those things going on right now,then all this has done is put more people out of work.

scalleywag on June 22, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Why not just schedule complete inspections of each facility one by one? What exactly are they suppose to be doing during this six months? It doesn’t seem logical.

Cindy Munford on June 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

This is already done EVERY time a BOP is installed on a rig. A 3rd party is typically called out to witness a pressure test. If the test fails, the rig operator would be required to install a new BOP. If they continued using the faulty BOP, this would be another failure by a federal agency and the rig operator.

dthorny on June 22, 2010 at 6:45 PM

DOTUS orders Holder to find another way to get the same thing done.

Holder gets on the phone with EPA to see if CARBON INFRACTIONS might be the excuse to get the drilling stopped.

DRILLING HALT in 5……4…….3….

PappyD61 on June 22, 2010 at 6:47 PM

SWLiP on June 22, 2010 at 6:30 PM

No.

He needs to be able to show that the decision was well-reasoned.

He needs to be able to show the decision was lawful. Think about this more thoroughly. Do you really want the federal judiciary deciding what the criteria are for a well-reasoned taking? If you do, then you are on the judicial-activist side of this question.

It’s inherently a political decision what justifies a “taking” by the government. It’s not for judges to decide. It’s for legislators to decide.

Maybe there is something in federal law that outlines the criteria that would justify a drilling moratorium, given the “taking” aspect inherent in it, but if there is, I don’t see a reference to it. This seems to be a gray area where presidents haven’t gone before, even by analogy.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the judge is reversed on appeal. Again, the moratorium is a bad thing, I think it’s politically motivated, and I’m against it and Obama 100%. But we don’t need to set any more precedents for judicial overreach.

J.E. Dyer on June 22, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Yes, he does have authority to order a blanket moratorium IF he can show it’s necessary, which he didn’t. I linked to the opinion for a reason.

Not exactly. The Court didn’t rule one way or the other about whether the President would EVER have authority to issue a blanket moratorium on all drilling activity under the OCSLA regulations, because that wasn’t the issue the plaintiffs chose chose to challenge the moratorium on. (“Indeed, the issue does not seem to be whether the
Secretary is in ‘violation’ of OCSLA or its regulations.”) They challenged it on the basis that the decision was “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act, so that’s all this Court considered. It did not consider whether OCSLA would ever permit a blanket moratorium on ALL permitting, drilling, production etc. The only time the Court came close was to say that the OCSLA regulations “seem to contemplate an individualized determination” — in other words, the regulations seem to prohibit a blanket determination — but in reality it never reached the question because it was never asked to.

Courts rarely issue broader rulings when narrower ones will do. You really can’t read into this opinion anything one way or the other about the President’s power to issue blanket suspensions of an entire industry.

mimritty on June 22, 2010 at 6:51 PM

There is no real question that MMS and Interior can regulate the crap out of offshore oil and gas exploration. They grant the leases and can pull ‘em, as they should’ve done to BP only. We know why <0 continues to let the arsonist guard the gas-can–follow the money.

Every other deep water operator, though probably not perfect, has been working out there according to well established rules and procedures designed to prevent "a BP." It's no secret now that Haliburton's rep had journaled that BP was wrecklessly declining to go along with established "best practices" for cementing the well in order to save money and time. BP is the problem here, not the corrupt, inept MMS, not offshore technology.

Yet <0 can't let this catastrophe go un-exploited, so he and his cronies take the opportunity to try to shut down all safely and effectively done drilling. Moreover, they do it in a way that is so broad, slap-dash, and technically inept that it effectively shuts down just about all offshore drilling, not just the real deep water work (500' is not really "deep water," over 1000' is). Further, they lie about expert recommendations and utterly fail to follow any of the due process established for such agency actions.

Thank God for an independent judiciary to stop this run-away executive train. Judge Feldman is one of the most erudite District Judges in Louisiana. What he does, he does carefully and well. This ruling is no exception. Salazar should have already been fired and if Justice continues to fight this fight, whoever is authorizing this waste of resources and outright economic warfare against the Gulf Coast states and the oil industry needs to get fired, too. Of course, the ideologue in the White House and his cronies are probably unfazed, even by having someone with federal marshals backing him up say that, yes, <0 has to obey the law like all the rest of us. Let's see how incredibly more stupid the <0 goon squad looks when they try to justify the foolish energy seppuku of the Obamoravomitorium and have it legally and rationally shoved down their throats again.

Ay Uaxe on June 22, 2010 at 7:45 PM

If we learned nothing else about this administration it is that they have zero respect for court decisions that don’t go their way. Look at their reaction to Citizens United. They lost so they went back to their little drawing boards and started dreaming up new ways to moot the decision by making the requirements for corporate speech so burdensome that it may as well be illegal. In this case, just watch them dream up a whole bunch of new safety regulations, unlimited liabilities, punitive measures and reporting mandates and on and on so that no business would consider continuing drilling operations on their watch.

MJBrutus on June 22, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Drudge reports that Salazar will try again with another order with some facts to support a moratorium.

Wethal on June 22, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Drudge reports that Salazar will try again with another order with some facts to support a moratorium.

Salazar is just BEGGING to get called out on the carpet by a Federal judge for circumventing a court order on the first moratorium.

teke184 on June 22, 2010 at 8:57 PM

<>

That was not for safety reasons, it was for a major national security threat, an act of war. Do you REALLY fail to see the difference? Good grief. What about the WV mining disaster? Did we close all the mines? No. Why? Unions.

kg598301 on June 22, 2010 at 9:05 PM

20,000 Jobs are at risk if the drilling stops and if it does they will take their drilling rigs else where.

mixplix on June 22, 2010 at 9:05 PM

That was not for safety reasons, it was for a major national security threat, an act of war. Do you REALLY fail to see the difference? Good grief. What about the WV mining disaster? Did we close all the mines? No. Why? Unions.

Allahpundit

That was not for safety reasons, it was for a major national security threat, an act of war. Do you REALLY fail to see the difference? Good grief. What about the WV mining disaster? Did we close all the mines? No. Why? Unions.

kg598301 on June 22, 2010 at 9:08 PM

9/11 comparison AP? Really? COME ON!

That was not for safety reasons, it was for a major national security threat, an act of war. Do you REALLY fail to see the difference? Good grief. What about the WV mining disaster? Did we close all the mines? No. Why? Unions.

kg598301 on June 22, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Hot Air is giving me fits tonight, in more ways than one. Sorry about the duplicate posts…

kg598301 on June 22, 2010 at 9:12 PM

dthorny on June 22, 2010 at 6:45 PM

I assumed that the moratorium was to inspect existing wells, since the one that exploded also had been inspected? If that’s not the case, then what is it for?

Cindy Munford on June 22, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Actually, that was the 1979 DC-10 crash in Chicago I mentioned earlier-and it wasn’t the plane design that caused that crash, it was a faulty maintenance procedure that caused one of the engines to fall off. The mechanics used a short cut to take off and reinstall the engine, by taking the engine and its pylon off together, not just taking the engine itself off. This short cut apparently saved several man-hours, but in this case proved fatal. The FAA fined American Airlines $500,000 for using the faulty procedure, and later fined Continental $100 grand for doing the same thing.

You might be thinking of an earlier design flaw with the DC-10’s cargo doors, which led to a major crash in France of a Turkish Airlines DC-10 in 1974.

Del Dolemonte on June 22, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Your citation is correct, but argues against a moratorium in this case. In your cited case, we did not ground DC-9′s, and other aircraft, only the affected model, the DC-10.

If they had suspended operations on all exploratory wells drilled at 3-5000 feet that used the models of safety equipment present on the Deepwater Horizion, you would be correct that it is the same. They did not. They stopped everything with this order. That is what the judge meant by “overbroad”.

this statement was misleading

Does “misleading” mean “lying”?

duggersd on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

No. However, the very next sentence “It was factually incorrect” *does* mean they lied.

NavyspyII on June 23, 2010 at 8:13 AM

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