U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking the U.S. Department of Interior's moratorium on deepwater drilling, prohibiting the federal government from enforcing the policy.
UPDATE I: Judge Martin Feldman is not pleased with how the government tried to sell the moratorium, and writes, scathingly:
Much to the government’s discomfort and this Court’s uneasiness, the Summary also states that “the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading. The experts charge it was a “misrepresentation.” It was factually incorrect. Although the experts agreed with the safety recommendations contained in the body of the main Report, five of the National Academy experts and three of the other experts have publicly stated that they “do not agree with the six month blanket moratorium” on floating drilling. They envisioned a more limited kind of moratorium, but a blanket moratorium was added after their final review, they complain, and was never agreed to by them. A factor that might cause some apprehension about the probity of the process that led to the Report.Judge Feldman later asks, rhetorically:
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 heavyhanded, and rather overbearing.
UPDATE II: Predictably, Reuters has this in their item: "A judge on Tuesday ruled against the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a blow to the White House which had hoped the ban would provide time to ensure other wells are operating safely.
What pap. The moratorium was never about safety or engineering. It was always about politics, and that's why this is a blow to the regime.
UPDATE III: The Empire Strikes Back--The Obama regime vows that it will immediately appeal today's ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, an appellate court based in ... New Orleans.
UPDATE IV: Setting up what is sure to be a legal showdown, Ken Salazar says he will all but defy Judge Feldman's order and issue a new moratorium on deepwater drilling.
Gimme some feedback in the comments.