Obama's Gulf Drilling Moratorium Slapped Down by the Court

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trinity, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    Back to the Oil disaster still spilling in the Gulf:

    LA Times

    The Obama Administration is appealing the decision of course. What will the Obama Administration present to get the moratorium put back in place? Proof that Obama's federal regulators in the Department of Interior and MMS didn't do their job and they need six months to back track and actually do their job? Proof that other oil companies are egregiously violating safety regulations and they allowed it to happen?

    LA Times

    The Judge found that Obama's Administration acted arbitrarily and capriciously. In order to prove they weren't being arbitrary...what would they bring to the court?
     
  2. maxcok

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    DTTB.











    Don't Take The Bait.
     
  3. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    One of the top stories of the day and you can't discuss it because it doesn't reflect well on Obama and his Administration. :rolleyes:
     
  4. maxcok

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    .
     
  5. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    If you can't deal with the issues turn tail and run away from them. :rolleyes:
     
  6. maxcok

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  7. B_OtterJoq

    B_OtterJoq New Member

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    That's not it at all.

    There's just simply no point in discussing anything with you.

    Period.
     
  8. houtx48

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    one well blowout out of maybe 50 being drilled is not a reason to shut down an entire region that is already economically devastated. I will not argue that the BP well is a lulu of a mess.
     
  9. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Agreed to some level.
    Maybe not a complete shutdown, but either a temporary pause in operation or a reduction of activity to a minimum until the BP/Haliburton disaster in the Gulf is dealt with accordingly.

    *Oops... accidently typed in HP at first. Damn my computer nerdisms. LOL!!
     
  10. maxcok

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    The "entire region" was not being "shut down" as a result of the moratorium. It's not a halt in ongoing operations, only a halt in the issuing of new permits, which despite the moratorium are being issued anyway. Your estimate of 50 wells seems high, though I have not verified it, perhaps you could. The economic impact primarily affects those providing support services to the operations. With over 4,000 rigs already operating in the Gulf, the financial impact is negligible or, excuse the analogy, a drop in the bucket. It's a tiny price to pay to try to minimize the possibility of future blowouts, while investigations into the BP blowout are ongoing and the entire drilling process is under review. This was a political decision, plain and simple.

     
    #10 maxcok, Jun 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  11. slurper_la

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    and interestingly the judge is alleged to have significant financial interests in oil:

    excerpt from huffingtonpost:

    Yesterday, a Federal judge in Louisiana suspended the only sensible action taken by the Federal government since BP's spill occurred. Justice Feldman of the U.S. District Court ordered that the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling be removed pending a further investigation into the safety of the existing and future drilling operations. He effectively overturned the drilling moratorium.
    There are a number of problems with his ruling. And, many sources indicate that the Judge has significant stock in oil and thus served to suffer significant personal loss if the moratorium was upheld. (emphasis added) These allegations have not been confirmed, but if the intellectual missteps in Feldman's decision are any indication of his bias, this adjudicator was seriously influenced by something other than the rule of law.
    The Federal government is allowed to temporarily prohibit any activity that causes a "threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to life (including fish and other aquatic life), to property, to any mineral deposits... or to the marine, coastal, or human environment." (OCSLA s. 1334(a)(1)). A decision to suspend activity under this act can only be set aside if the decision is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or not otherwise in accordance with law." (5 U.S.C. s.706(2)(a)).
    The Supreme Court has found that a decision is "arbitrary and capricious" if it relied on factors not contemplated by Congress, ignored an important part of the problem at hand, ignored evidence to the contrary or came up with a decision that is so implausible it could not be attributed to a difference of opinion within the agency (State Farm, 463 U.S. 43).
    Feldman looked at this law and made two important and faulty decisions.
    First, he determined that you cannot suspend all deepwater operations without first taking into account the particular safety practices and regulations followed by each suspended rig. This is a problematic conclusion. When the Federal government has determined that the agency in charge of oversight might be incompetent or corrupt, assessing the safety of each individual operation becomes impossible. When the Federal government has determined that the safety standards in place and understood by experts in the field are woefully inadequate, assessing the safety of future drilling operations becomes impossible. Feldman actually acknowledged these two points, but insisted on finding that the government must still, despite these roadblocks, engage in an individual assessment.

    Emma Ruby-Sachs: Court's Decision to Overturn the Drilling Moratorium Was Just Plain Wrong
     
  12. houtx48

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    Looked it up 25 rigs shut down with 3 not started and 33 permits......this deep water rigs not shallow...... As for the judge having oil interests the way oil interest why would you be surprised that he or anyone in this region has some shares in their portfolio?
     
  13. slurper_la

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    i'm not surprised and 6 other judges recused themselves from the case due to conflict of interest, as they should.

    THIS judge seems not to be so honorable.
     
  14. B_patrickmcc

    B_patrickmcc New Member

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    As a student that goes to school in Louisiana, I can tell you finding anyone in the state that doesnt have someone in their family involved in the Oil and Gas business would be difficult, so the 6 recusals dont surprise me. Imagine when the suits really start to fly, how are they going to find enough judges to try them?
    Secondly, I can also understand the angst that this initial order caused the people in Louisiana. Offshore drilling and the oil and gas industry in huge in that state. Still suffering from Katrina, this moratorium would be as big a blow to the state as Katrina was, economically. And the same people being deluged with oil washing up, are the same ones howling about the moratorium, because they know how dependent the area is for the income they and the state derive from off shore drilling.
    With the dismal response to Katrina, and now the equally dismal response to BP, plus the ban on drilling, the residents really feel that DC is clueless as to help the region.
    Was this ban overkill and a PR stunt for the White House? Probably. Imposing a ban, in lieu of serious oversight, and analysis of what went wrong and how to prevent it, seems capricious at best.
    As a friend's Dad (albeit a gas guy) told me, they didnt ground every airplane in the world when the AirFrance jet crashed in the ocean, and they didnt know why.
    And also remember that canceling 25 planned projects directly effects 100's of workers, and indirectly, 10,000's of others.
    So this issue is a lot more complicated to the local folks in the gulf than it is to those far away.
     
  15. maxcok

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    It was not a PR move. It is one of the most sensible things the White House has done so far in the disaster. Your analogy to grounding airplanes is ridiculous. There are stiil over 4,000 rigs operating and pumping out oil in the Gulf.

    Those projects have not been cancelled, the permitting process has been slowed down (supposedly) while the government and the industry engage in "serious oversight, and analysis of what went wrong and how to prevent it," as you put it, quoted from above. That is the purpose of the moratorium. It has negligible economic impact, and if you read the Times article I linked, you can see it's also had little impact on the permit process. Anyone who says this moratorium has major economic impact is either uninformed or playing politics.
     
    #15 maxcok, Jun 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  16. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    According to Mother Jones:

    Did The Huffington Post just say Obama's Administration determined that Obama's own Department of Interior and MMS agency was incompetent or corrupt making it impossible for them to assess the safety of each individual operation?

    The experts did not support the moratorium and Judge Feldman called out Obama's Administration for protraying otherwise:

    CBS News.
     
  17. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    U.S. to issue more flexible oil drilling moratorium
    -Huffington Post

    Obama's Administration understood the major economic impact and plan to ease restrictions for the new moratorium although Salazar was not clear how the new moratorium would get around the court ruling or when he would issue it.
     
  18. D_Tully Tunnelrat

    D_Tully Tunnelrat New Member

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    The judges supposition was really quite simple, and has some merit with regards to calling for a some reflection, despite the ugliness of the disaster, and that is: if one car is bad, should all cars be banned?

    On the flip side, BP is now citing government data which they say mislead them about where the oil might go in the advent of a spill, as the data suggested it would not go ashore, but given the configuration of the Gulf, how could it not, and what industry expert would base their decision making only on government data? More to the point, Transocean, BP and Halliburton did not follow protocol and use "mud," to contain the back pressure from the well, instead they opted for sea water, which was too light to prevent gas blow back.
     
  19. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    Agreement is not the issue here really. There is legal precedent for shutting things down when human life is involved. One example is the grounding and retrofitting of McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 Aircraft after a fan in a tail engine exploded severing all of the hydraulics to the tail control surfaces. For a time, all DC-10 aircraft were "grounded" until the retrofitting for safety could be accomplished.

    This is a "damned if you do" and "damned if you don't" situation. If the Obama Administration had not acted as it had, and a second deep water drilling rig had met the same fate, his administration would have met with equal anger from those opposing him.

    At this point, the problem appears only with wells and drilling operations operating in excess of a certain depth. Assurances had been given by all the corporate "partners" in this that there was no manner in which this kind of disaster could happen, and even more importantly all regulatory agencies concerned were assured that if a disaster did happen that the leakage could be plugged immediately with little problem. Now, what appears to be the case is that all of the advanced engineering and planning failed on the part of multiple multi-billion dollar corporations, or, a few executives with something to gain deliberately misrepresented their knowledge or abilities or both.

    There is little question that the judge overturning the decision of safety in favor of profits will lose his place on the bench. It will probably happen with little fanfare and little publicity at a later date. Right now, the only way to deal with his decision good or bad is through the appellate system.

    Nobody was perfect in this deal from Government Representatives to Oil Conglomerate Representatives. There appears to possibly be some misinformation on both sides which so far has not been explained to my personal satisfaction. That is for the Court System to decide as this plays out.

    The analogy of flawed automobiles in essence does not fly. When a particular design of automobile proves flawed, these automobiles are recalled and the manufacturer is forced under that mandated recall to repair the deficient parts or the cause. Recalls can be issued for twenty year old vehicles. This did happen with some full sized-Ford products when it was proven that under certain weird circumstances that when the left motor mount broke, the engine could lift and twist to the right and that in a percentage of these cases the throttle would jam open. The repair or fix was a cable that was bolted to the left exhaust manifold that would prevent the engine from lifting if the mount were to fail.
    Audi had jamming throttles in the Audi 5000 in the late 1970's and early 1980's. The Ford Pinto Runabout and Coupe were recalled when it was discovered that if they were rear-ended in a certain manner that was offset to the right that it would jam the hot muffler into the right seam of the fuel tank rupturing the tank over the muffler and causing a fire that often would trap the passengers inside the vehicle cremating them. The Cruising Wagon and Wagons were not subject to this as they had a different exhaust system design. Toyota has faced incredible investigation over safety issues which sent their resale value plummeting. The final figures are not in yet, but the Toyota safety recall may be one of the largest recalls of flawed vehicles in automotive history and it is costing Toyota dearly. The fact is that the United States Federal Government did not have the power to ban Chevrolets because of a flaw in Toyotas. The Federal Government does and did have the power to suspend 100% of all new car sales in the United States manufactured by Toyota and this would include those manufactured in United States auto plants. Numerous cars have been historically withheld from sale when they did not meet Vehicle Emissions Standards. I was for a time in my life employed by the Automobile Industry and I faced this kind of issue multiple times.
     
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