Judge Strikes at Obama Deep Water Drill Ban

Thursday, 03 Feb 2011 11:58 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down, a New Orleans judge ruled.

Interior Department regulators acted with “determined disregard” by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling, following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman of New Orleans ruled yesterday.

“Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling.

“Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re- imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt,” Feldman said.

President Barack Obama’s administration first halted offshore exploration in waters deeper than 500 feet in May, after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the Louisiana coast sparked a subsea blowout that spewed more than 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Overly Broad

Feldman overturned the initial ban as overly broad in June, after the offshore-drilling industry and Gulf Coast political and business leaders challenged it. Almost immediately, U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar announced he’d find another way to block offshore exploration until the industry beefed up drilling safety and oil-spill response capabilities in reaction to the Gulf oil spill.

Salazar instituted a second drilling ban in July, which was also challenged by an industry lawsuit that claimed the ban was devastating the Gulf Coast economy, which is heavily dependant on deepwater drilling activities. That ban was rescinded in October, before Feldman could rule on its validity.

Feldman later ruled that enhanced drilling safety rules Salazar imposed to permit companies to resume offshore exploration violated federal law, and he struck those down as well. The offshore industry and Gulf Coast interests complained to Feldman that regulators were continuing to block the resumption of drilling activity despite his rulings.

Neither Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle nor Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff immediately returned e-mail messages sent after regular business hours, seeking comment on Feldman’s ruling.

Informal Moratorium

The Offshore Marine Service Association, a group representing offshore service vessels and shipyards, urged the president to end an informal moratorium on offshore drilling that it said remains in place.

“President Obama claims to have lifted the Gulf moratorium, yet not a single deepwater permit has been issued in nine months,” Jim Adams, the association’s president, said in a release after the ruling. “As a result, thousands of workers are out of jobs, Americans are paying more for gasoline and heating oil, and our nation is becoming even more dependent on unstable nations for our energy needs.”

Feldman also ordered the government to pay the legal fees of Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC, which filed the initial lawsuit. The company had described the fees as “significant.”

The case is Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC v. Salazar, 2:10-cv-01663, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Charlie Rangel: GOP Believes 'Slavery Isn't Over'

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 23:09 PM

Rep. Charlie Rangel on Thursday likened Republicans to Confederates from the Civil War era, charging that they "believe  . . .

New York Archdiocese to Reorganize, Merge Parishes

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 22:51 PM

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York will merge more than 50 parishes because of lower attendance and rising expen . . .

Michelle Bachmann: World Sees US Has No Plan to Fight Terrorism

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 21:56 PM

The world has no confidence in U.S. leadership because they don't know what our plans to fight terrorism are, Rep. Miche . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved