Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill - #1883 - Federal Judge Blocks Obama's 6-Month Moratorium on Off Shore Drilling - Hot Air

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.........Last line of article..... 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?   Read more.......  Finally could this be a ray of much needed sunshine, could the courts finally be in play to stop the march towards cap and trade, and the subsequent skyrocketing energy prices?

Obama Doubles Down: Salazar To Issue New Order on Drilling Moratorium - Hot Air - Commenters were yelling in the earlier thread about The One daring to shut down a private company’s operations for safety reasons, but if you read the court’s opinion, you’ll see that that point’s not at issue. It’s not a question of the feds having the power, it’s a question of them needing to provide a compelling reason to exercise that power in light of how much economic damage it’ll do. The judge said their explanation wasn’t good enough to justify a blanket moratorium. Salazar’s response: If it’s an explanation you want, an explanation you shall have.  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.  Read more.........

Federal Government Halts Sand Berm Dredging - WDSU The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico.
The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done.  Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who was one of the most vocal advocates of the dredging plan, has sent a letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for the work to continue.  Nungesser said the government has asked crews to move the dredging site two more miles farther off the coastline.  "Once again, our government resource agencies, which are intended to protect us, are now leaving us vulnerable to the destruction of our coastline and marshes by the impending oil," Nungesser wrote to Obama. "Furthermore, with the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms, we are being put at an increased risk for devastation to our area from the intrusion of oil.  Read more.......

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