Thursday, June 24, 2010
Judge Feldman said the moratorium, intended to give time for improvements in rig safety measures, was “blanket, generic, indeed punitive,” Judge Feldman said on Thursday that the Interior Department now had 30 days to comply with his June 22 decision, a longer time than the 21 days he originally specified in his ruling. The government’s appeal of the ruling will be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Obama Administration had wanted the timeout to reassess the safety and management of offshore oil drilling, a modest request, in my eyes.
Anybody who has studied the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster with their eyes open should know a couple things by now. The Interior Department, specifically the Minerals and Management Services, has been a total whore for the oil industry and has shirked its responsibility to the American people. We have taken a look behind the curtain, and it ain't pretty. Yet we are now asked to shed disbelief and trust these very same companies to suddenly act responsibly.
We have been sold a bill of goods regarding the safety of these platforms and drilling practices, whose technology is inherently risky and unproven. Another spill, possibly of equal or greater proportions, is bound to occur. It is merely a matter of time and location. The industry is either blaming BP, the company that used to be the industry darling or calling the oil spill a perfect storm scenario that will probably never repeat itself.
Feldman, a Judge with huge investments in the oil business, including one of the major players in this fiasco, Transocean, should have recused himself from this case. The conservative right loves to pick on so called "activist" judges. What could be more activist than inserting the judiciary into a Department of Interior decision to right its ship and start watching the hen house again. To start testing the ram shears and inspecting equipment, to start mandating emergency plans that will work in the real world.
The Fifth Circuit is filled with judges that have major ties to big oil, I will not be surprised if the quash holds up. Then, god forbid some thing of this nature occurs again, the blood will be on the judges hands. The devastated marine life, the fisherman's livelihood. These judges are hamstringing our President and his ability to make sound rational decisions to keep our environment clean, our oceans safe, the kind of decisions some of us elected him for. All in the name of the almighty dollar. And from now on, environmental policy in this country will be conducted by paid off, fat cat, federal judges. Judge sez just keep doing what we're a doing. I feel better.