Free Markets, Free People

Common sense prevails in judge’s decision to overturn drilling moratorium

The common sense is found in the decision of Judge Martin Feldman. In his opinion, all the pertinent and sensible questions that should have been a part of the Obama administration’s decision making process are asked – and, to most, the answers are obvious.

If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy handed, and rather overbearing.

Over-reaction is one way those that are risk averse and not used to dealing with a crisis handle situations like this.

Throwing common sense out the window, the administration acted like the potential for another Deepwater Horizon was imminent and only shutting everything down would ensure such an occurrence wouldn’t happen. Yet for thousands of square miles, rig after rig has been producing for years without any sort of comparable problem. In fact, Deepwater Horizon is the outlier in deepwater drilling.

It was also an emotional and political response, instead of fact-based one of which our cool, calm and deliberative President is supposed to be famous. Again the judge sticks it to the administration:

Nonetheless, the Secretary’s determination that a six-month moratorium on issuance of new permits and on drilling by the thirty-three rigs is necessary does not seem to be fact-specific and refuses to take into measure the safety records of those others in the Gulf. There is no evidence presented indicating that the Secretary balanced the concern for environmental safety with the policy of making leases available for development. There is no suggestion that the Secretary considered any alternatives…

Of course he’s talking about Secretary Ken Salazar, but it is understood that this decision to declare a 6 month moratorium on drilling came from the top. Judge Feldman notes the administration’s decision was an arbitrary decision, not one that carefully weighed the facts and safety history of the industry and then made a deliberate decision based in fact. Apparently, as the judge notes, no other alternatives were considered.

Lastly, Judge Feldman chastises the administration about their poorly thought-out decision and the impact it has on those that live in the region:

An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country.

Thankfully the judiciary is looking after the “small people” and their livelihoods even if the administration isn’t. Of course, the administration will appeal this common sense decision.

No surprise there.



7 Responses to Common sense prevails in judge’s decision to overturn drilling moratorium

  • I pray that SCotUS takes it, and that Justice Scalia writes the opinion…. It will be priceless.

  • But Obama was assured that deep sea drilling was 100% safe!  And now there was an accident so it must be 0% safe!

  • Wonder if Obama knows how to ride a bicycle.

  • simple. Soros wants the platforms for Petrobras. Never let a crisis go to waste.

  • Our addiction to oil is destroying the environment,and setting us up for an even more dramatic economic collapse if we don’t change direction.   In some ways I have to shake my head and, considering all the ‘drill baby drill’ non-sense, defense of using massive amounts of oil, denial of concerns of peak oil and global climate change, de-regulation of big finance so that the big banks could legally transfer massive amounts of citizen investments into the hands of a few elite…I have to think that we’re reaping what we’ve sown as a country for the last thirty years.   And that’s probably a good thing — the consumerism, materialism and arrogance that the US has shown is the problem.  We need a kind of spiritual rejuvenation (not necessarily religious), and we need to recognize the consequences of our actions.    The naive faith in “the market” as working well unregulated, or the irrational belief in “individualism” (as if individuals aren’t in very large part a product of their society) is finally starting to crumble.

    Hopefully we’ll not continue this addictive behavior in risking huge ecosystems in order to get more oil.   It’s irrational.   I’m also amazed at how easily so many of you have been manipulated and fooled by simplistic ideology, the propaganda of the oil industry, and the propaganda from big money.   You’re being used, and you think you’re supporting freedom.   Amazing.