Otherwise he’d be an activist judge:
A New Orleans federal judge lifted the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed by President Barack Obama following the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Shares of drilling services companies jumped on the news.
Obama temporarily halted all drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet on May 27 to give a presidential commission time to study improvements in the safety of offshore operations. More than a dozen Louisiana offshore service and supply companies sued U.S. regulators to lift the ban.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman today granted a preliminary injunction, halting the moratorium. Government lawyers told Feldman that ban was based on findings in a U.S. report following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast in April.
“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.”
I love that last paragraph, which appears to be legalese for “Drill, baby, drill!” Let’s re-write it so it accurately reflects the current state of affairs:
“The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, assumes that because all the parties involved have demonstrated they not only don’t know what caused or these disasters or how to prevent these disasters, they don’t know how to stop them, so it is in the interest of everyone involved that we recognize that all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet universally present an imminent danger.”
Because that is the real situation. I have no idea how it can be considered illegal for our regulatory regime to ban behavior that could lead to catastrophes until those being regulated can assure us the activity is safe. Stating the government must prove that each individual well is unsafe before banning it turns the whole concept of regulation on its head.
*** Update ***
Isn’t this precisely the situation in which recusals are required:
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.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman issued a preliminary injunction today barring the enforcement of Barack Obama’s proposed six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, arguing that the ban is too broad.
However, Michael Moore is fat, so we aren’t really an oligarchy.
*** Update #2 ***
From the comments:
imagine if this logic were applied to the war on drugs…you can’t declare a drug addictive, because people have gotten addicted. you have to show that everyone who uses the drug in question, becomes addicted….