Federal court refuses to dismiss challenge to drilling ban … again

posted at 4:02 pm on September 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The White House suffered another defeat in federal court on an issue their own advisers have declared not worth fighting.  Judge Martin Feldman refused again to dismiss a challenge to the Obama administration’s drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon, saying that their newly drafted ban didn’t differ enough from their first to render the lawsuit invalid:

Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc and other oil companies sued the government when it first ordered a halt to deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in May after BP Plc’s well rupture that killed 11 workers and caused the world’s worst offshore spill.

The drilling halt was subsequently amended, so the government sought to toss out the Hornbeck lawsuit, arguing it was no longer relevant.

But U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, who earlier this summer blocked the first drilling halt, said in a 20-page ruling that the government’s amended moratorium offered “no substantial changes” from the first one.

Even with a head start and a big hint, the White House can’t get a moratorium written properly enough to get around Feldman.  But the real question is why they bothered to try at all.  A study commissioned by Barack Obama’s panel on the Gulf spill reported last week that the ban is no longer necessary, if it ever was at all.  The new rules in place at MMS and in the Gulf have already addressed the risks discovered in the Deepwater Horizon blowout, and banning any further drilling isn’t increasing safety any longer.

That report should have rendered the whole debate moot.  With the economy declining, the 23,000 jobs this ban costs are sorely needed, especially in the Gulf region.  Instead of fighting in court to destroy those jobs and to cost Americans the necessary production for our energy needs so that other jobs can be created, the White House should be deep-sixing the moratorium and helping to get rigs on line and producing safely.


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the White House should be deep-sixing the moratorium and helping to get rigs on line and producing safely.

We know Barry eats waffles and shrimp, but does he eat crow?

ladyingray on September 1, 2010 at 4:05 PM

b.b.b.bbut but BIG OIL! and BABIES! and GREEN JOBS! and all of the FORESTS! No one is lifting this ban until I get some answers dammit!! *waves menacing weapon around*

wooops, wrong thread, but you get my drift.

ted c on September 1, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I half way wondered if this was a ploy by the administration to make oil prices rise. If it was that has failed as miserably as all of his other bright ideas.

Cindy Munford on September 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

They don’t want safer drilling. They want NO drilling.

Lily on September 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

The longer they drag this out, the more rigs leave for other waters. They want as many of the rigs to leave as they can manage. That’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

Typhoon on September 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

…refuses to dismiss challenge to ban…

…too many negatives…cannot comprehend…brain overloading…

…Daaaisyyy, daaaaissssyyyyy…

S. Weasel on September 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

The White House suffered another defeat in federal court

No Change… Awesome!

WhoU4 on September 1, 2010 at 4:07 PM

I do like that Judge Marty Feldman.

He’s a genius.

KingGold on September 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM

The contiuing harrassment of drilling companies, contractors and energy companies has already severely damaged the industry.

This is a case of winning battles and while losing a war.
The MMS is putting up every roadblock they can establish to kill this industry.

gonnjos on September 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM

the White House should be deep-sixing the moratorium and helping to get rigs on line and producing safely.

Who’d have thought.

heshtesh on September 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM

I do like that Judge Marty Feldman.

He’s a genius.

KingGold on September 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM

“It’s pronounced Eye-gor.”

Doughboy on September 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

With this administration starting to ‘get worried’ about things, there are justices going to start ‘having accidents’.

Yeah, this administration is more than capable of making people ‘get disappeared’.

E T Cartman on September 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

I half way wondered if this was a ploy by the administration to make oil prices rise. If it was that has failed as miserably as all of his other bright ideas.

Cindy Munford on September 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

No, Judge Felman is a Reagan appointee who has an amazing understanding of the law. Nice to see judges making legal decisions for a change.

Tommy_G on September 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM

It’s a moo point. It’s like a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter. It’s MOO

mjk on September 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM

The WH could extract 20 billion dollars from BP , so why is Hussain picking up a fight with oil companies ?

macncheez on September 1, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Is there anything the White House is good at?

Not the “law” apparently.

Hula-hoop? Eating lunch? Drinking beer?

Something?

NoDonkey on September 1, 2010 at 4:13 PM

This administration has declared ware on Republican states and the American citizens who live in them. It will destroy job, economies, and security in states that have moved from Democrat to Republican governors (see Louisiana, Arizona, New Jersey).

jerseyman on September 1, 2010 at 4:14 PM

We know Barry eats waffles and shrimp, but does he eat crow?

ladyingray on September 1, 2010 at 4:05 PM

After last nights speech… do you think he would?

upinak on September 1, 2010 at 4:15 PM

“It’s pronounced Eye-gor.”

Doughboy on September 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

“What hump?”

BobMbx on September 1, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Tommy_G on September 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Sorry, by “he” I meant The Won. I am loving the judge.

Cindy Munford on September 1, 2010 at 4:18 PM

BTW What happened to all those shovel ready jobs if stimulus passed.

rjoco1 on September 1, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Well, we are going to have to figure out how to get everyone of voting age to read Hot Air because the main stream media sure doesn’t report this stuff.

Vince on September 1, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Feldman just doesn’t ‘get it’. Barry isn’t interested in the moratorium, he’s interested in seeing the price of oil and gasoline go through the roof.

GarandFan on September 1, 2010 at 4:20 PM

The Eco loon taking hostages at Discovery doesn’t want it lifted. Nor do his cronies. Enough said.

capejasmine on September 1, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Instead, the Obama administration will refer the oil companies and Judge Feldman to the UN for human rights violations.

jbtripp on September 1, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Vince on September 1, 2010 at 4:19 PM

‘Sok. Propaganda Inc. shares just fell below 98 cents. heh
HA is not by itself. Then there is radio; the forgotten user of the airwaves, er eather.

Caststeel on September 1, 2010 at 4:28 PM

un could that be aether ?

Caststeel on September 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM

I don’t see how any of this helps Michelle’s kids…

av8tr on September 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM

With the economy declining, the 23,000 jobs this ban costs are sorely needed, especially in the Gulf region. Instead of fighting in court to destroy those jobs and to cost Americans the necessary production for our energy needs so that other jobs can be created, the White House should be deep-sixing the moratorium and helping to get rigs on line and producing safely.

Not only that, but consider the ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars in legal and administrative costs to maintain this foolish and ill-conceived lawsuit. This is just further evidence that Barry and his merry band of useful idiots are more interested in pushing a far left agenda than in governing a center right country. In his inaugural address, BHO promised that he would be everyone’s President, but he’s long since abandoned that facade by exposing his radical agenda and his incredible incompetence. Remember in November and beyond.

College Prof on September 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM

He just wants to fly this economy. He couldn’t care less about landing it…

Akzed on September 1, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Instead of fighting in court to destroy those jobs and to cost Americans the necessary production for our energy needs so that other jobs can be created, the White House should be deep-sixing the moratorium and helping to get rigs on line and producing safely.

Not this White House – they are committed to bringing America down to a second- or third- rate country.

THAT is what 8/28 was about – people who refuse to let this cynical, money-obsessed man and his ilk destroy our country.

disa on September 1, 2010 at 4:39 PM

That report should have rendered the whole debate moot.

Two words for you Ed.

Cloward-Piven.

You give them the benefit of the doubt way too much.

Alinsky on September 1, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Didn’t Glen Beck do a show about a month or two ago that revealed that Palin was correct in saying that Barry giving Brazil 2 billion dollars to drill off shore but killing our off shore drilling was outrageous and then Beck went on to demonstrate that Soros was involved with Petrobas? So this drilling equip is scarce, Brazil needs it, Barry puts a moratorium on the Gulf and the scarce equipment leaves for Brazil. Our next president better be prepared to arrest this one and the whole gang of thieves he works with.

CCRWM on September 1, 2010 at 4:48 PM

They don’t want safer drilling. They want NO drilling.

Lily on September 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

AMEN, Lily, AMEN!

I work in GOM deepwater offshore production design, and I am tellin’ ya, that this clown wants to kill our business!

lukespapa on September 1, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Man, they sure are making hard for Obama to kill the American economy and drive all that oil revenue to other countries where his friends stand to make a killing.

Bruce MacMahon on September 1, 2010 at 4:52 PM

I don’t see how any of this helps Michelle’s kids…

av8tr on September 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Good One!!! Hahahahaha.

NJ Red on September 1, 2010 at 4:53 PM

…Hula-hoop? Eating lunch? Drinking beer?

Something?

NoDonkey on September 1, 2010 at 4:13 PM

umbrella olympics?

lukespapa on September 1, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Are we sure they are even getting permits. With or without a ban.

tjexcite on September 1, 2010 at 4:54 PM

It isn’t about safety, jobs or energy. It’s about Obama’s ego now. He thinks he’s right and by God he’s going to keep pushing until the court says he’s right. All to justify his initial decision and promote himself.

The man is extremely petty. Folks need to get a grip on that simple fact.

ButterflyDragon on September 1, 2010 at 4:58 PM

“But the real question is why they bothered to try at all. ”

Because it’s not enough to get their way. They can’t resist punishing their enemies.

That’s what happens when the county is led by a child.

notagool on September 1, 2010 at 4:59 PM

The man is extremely petty. Folks need to get a grip on that simple fact.

ButterflyDragon on September 1, 2010 at 4:58 PM

And vindictive as all get out.

NJ Red on September 1, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Didn’t Glen Beck do a show about a month or two ago that revealed that Palin was correct in saying that Barry giving Brazil 2 billion dollars to drill off shore but killing our off shore drilling was outrageous and then Beck went on to demonstrate that Soros was involved with Petrobas? So this drilling equip is scarce, Brazil needs it, Barry puts a moratorium on the Gulf and the scarce equipment leaves for Brazil. Our next president better be prepared to arrest this one and the whole gang of thieves he works with.

CCRWM on September 1, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Agenda items for the next Congress. Impeach Salizar et al over this. And Holder over the voter intimidation case and suing Arizona over immigration enforcement.

LarryD on September 1, 2010 at 5:04 PM

It isn’t moot because, if the government can’t prevail in upholding the moratorium, they may face lawsuits for damages due to the improper imposition of the drilling moratorium. The most damaging factor is that Ken Salazar improperly modified the original experts study to indicate the need for the moratorium. If that can’t be shown to have at least some merit, the damage awards will flow.

J_Crater on September 1, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Is there anything the White House is good at?

Not the “law” apparently.

Hula-hoop? Eating lunch? Drinking beer?

Something?

NoDonkey on September 1, 2010 at 4:13 PM

This administration is fantastically good at killing jobs!!!

With one stroke of the pen, Obama killed 23,000+ jobs (not counting the longer-term fallout of his idiotic oil embargo).

And this is in addition to the tens of thousands of auto industry jobs, tens of thousands of financial industry jobs, tens of thousands of coal and gas industry jobs he’s already killed. And don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of insurance and health industry jobs which are about to be killed by Obamacare!!!

In addition, the Obama administration has been the best ever at promoting the health and welfare of bedbugs!!!

landlines on September 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM

That report should have rendered the whole debate moot. With the economy declining, the 23,000 jobs this ban costs are sorely needed, especially in the Gulf region.

Lawyers need jobs to.

percysunshine on September 1, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Obama’s head would make the greatest drill bit, seeing how incredibly hard it is.

leftnomore on September 1, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Just a minute! The government is fighting for a lot of high price jobs. Lawyers are one of Obama’s and other Democrats’ favored groups. It doen’t matter that they don’t actually increase GDP.

burt on September 1, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Just a minute! The government is fighting for a lot of high price jobs. Lawyers are one of Obama’s and other Democrats’ favored groups. It doen’t matter that they don’t actually increase GDP.

burt on September 1, 2010 at 5:28 PM

They are rent-seeking sacks of sh!&

Inanemergencydial on September 1, 2010 at 5:32 PM

The way obama and his commie buddies keep pushing this makes me feel that this was planned

they blew up that thing and are doing their best to maximize the effect

as someone said before, these rigs are not common and their removal is not quickly remedied

couple that with the couple of billion that oscumo sent to petrobras to do exactly what he is attempting to prevent here and it doesn’t seam improbable

Sonosam on September 1, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Judge obviously needs reeducating at Obamacamp.

SirGawain on September 1, 2010 at 5:49 PM

The next presidential administration may have to pay damages to the offshore oil companies for the malicious destruction of the industry wrought by Bammie. That’s only the start of what we will have to do to reenergize this valuable industry.

slickwillie2001 on September 1, 2010 at 6:09 PM

I’m seeing a pattern here. Every time people say no to King Barack he and his courtiers stubbornly double-down.

Buy Danish on September 1, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Report of the Commission, translated.

Government officials from Gulf Coast states say the drilling ban is damaging a region which fucking well deserves it for dissing His hOliness and not electing more Democrats. The moratorium idled 33 rigs and forced up to 23,247 bitter clinging red-staters to hock their guns and go on welfare, or will when the suckers who kept them on in hopes of resuming drilling run out of money, and the administration hopes for more in the near future.

warlocketx on September 1, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Report of the Commission, translated.

Government officials from Gulf Coast states say the drilling ban is damaging a region which f– well deserves it for dissing His hOliness and not electing more Democrats. The moratorium idled 33 rigs and forced up to 23,247 bitter clinging red-staters to hock their guns and go on welfare, or will when the suckers who kept them on in hopes of resuming drilling run out of money, and the administration hopes for more in the near future.

warlocketx on September 1, 2010 at 7:20 PM

I do like that Judge Marty Feldman.

He’s a genius.

KingGold on September 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM
“It’s pronounced Eye-gor.”

Doughboy on September 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

and here’s another…
“What hump?”

Which reminds me of a Quasimodo joke…
One night Quasimodo comes home after a long day of work at the Notre Dame Cathedral. He walks in the door, looks in the kitchen and sees his wife heating up the wok. He asks her, “Hey honey, are we having Chinese tonight?” Quasimodo’s wife replies, “Nah, I’m just ironing your shirts.”

I got a million of ‘em! I’m here all week folks!

CatchAll on September 1, 2010 at 9:51 PM

The only thing that a logical man can conclude from his actions is that President Obama is at war with American prosperity.

Theophile on September 2, 2010 at 4:02 AM

So now we have another Gulf of Mexico oil platform explode.

But note this, from the next to last graf of the AP story printed by the WaPo:

The Department of Homeland Security said the platform was in about 2,500 feet of water and owned by Mariner Energy of Houston. DHS said it was not producing oil and gas.

Let’s all read that last sentence again . . . ready?

DHS said it was not producing oil and gas.

So . . . I know it’s a bit early to speculate, but that sure sounds a little suspicious to me!

NOT that there are any eco-terrorists floating around or anything!

Trochilus on September 2, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Oh wonderful; the rig is now confirmed to be leaking. Praying that it won’t be as bad as the last time.

Dark-Star on September 2, 2010 at 2:54 PM

The latest update of the story contradicts what I quoted in my post above at 12:41 PM, and now says:

“The rig is a fixed platform that was in production at the time of the fire, according to a homeland security operational update obtained by The Associated Press.

The update said the platform was producing 58,800 gallons of oil and 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The platform can store 4,200 gallons of oil. “

Trochilus on September 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM