U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman struck down the Obama administration's deepwater drilling moratorium in rather snippy, circular language today. Perhaps his cereal milk was a bit sour this morning? Or maybe he just owns some oil stocks.
The administration put this deepwater drilling review in place after realizing, oh shit, we have just been handing out deepwater drilling review waivers like candy for the past seven million years and should probably take a few months to figure out how these rigs even work. Because one of them stopped working, and then it destroyed everything in the Gulf Coast for generations before heading up to the east coast, which it will do pretty soon.
"The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium," Feldman said in his 22-page decision. "The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger."
Exactly. The stupid people who thought of this stupid moratorium are so stupid that they think if one company is taking shortcuts to maximize profits in a regulation-free environment, maybe others are doing this, too.
The federal judge who overturned Barack Obama's offshore drilling moratorium appears to own stock in numerous companies involved in the offshore oil industry-including Transocean, which leased the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to BP prior to its April 20 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico-according to 2008 financial disclosure reports.
His most recent disclosure reports are not yet available, but hey, oil companies were still doing quite well leading right up to this spill! Why would he conceivably dump this assets after 2008? Maybe subprime housing bonds going up last year? No, that definitely was not happening.
Not that he obviously made his decision based on his personal portfolio, to be sure. But judges are allowed to recuse themselves when there are conflicts of interest. Many ethical experts would even go so far as to recommend judges do this! But Martin Feldman would probably be unable to divine or fathom why.
[Image via AP]