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Judge has ties to oil industry and owns stock in major companies involved in the spill

The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is still on going with the leaking well pouring thousands and thousands of barrels of crude oil into the waters daily. So far, BP has been unable to stop the flow of crude from leaking into the waters.

The Obama administration had placed a six-month ban on deep-water drilling in the gulf until an investigation could be conducted to determine what caused the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon platform that triggered the massive Gulf oil spill.

A federal judge lifted the ban placed on deep-water drilling in the Gulf yesterday. The judge who lifted with ban is U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman. Feldman issued a 22-page order that would allow oil companies to resume to drilling in the Gulf. However, the White House says that it will file an immediate appeal and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says that it will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on drilling that gives more detail on why the 6-month ban is needed.

Feldman said in his order that there was not enough justification in the drilling ban to justify the action taken by Obama and the White House. Feldman wrote, "A 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."

Feldman also wrote, "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."

The 
Associated Press has noted that Feldman has ties to the oil industry and as recently as 2008, he owned stock in several oil companies. AP reports that Feldman listed in 2008 that he owned less than $15,000 in stock in Transocean Ltd. Transocean is the company that owns the Deepwater Horizon platform.

While some suggest that Feldman is biased because of his ties to the oil industry, at least one expert sees no signs of bias in the ruling. Tim Howards, a law professor at Northeastern University said, "There's been some concern that he is biased toward the industry, but I don't see it in this opinion. They [the White House] overreacted and just shut an industry down, rather than focusing on where the problems are."

However, Josh Reichert, managing director of Pew Environment Group said, "If Judge Feldman has any investments in oil and gas operators in the Gulf, it represents a flagrant conflict of interest."

Even though the ruling by Feldman would allow drilling to restart in the gulf, some major oil companies are holding off knowing an appeal is coming soon. Shell and Marathon are waiting to see what happens with the appeal before getting back to drilling.



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RE: actually..
By BriteLite on 6/23/2010 11:16:24 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm...

So let me get this straight...

BP who asked for help in February and advised the administration that they needed assistance because of some fissures and cracks... which then became a full-blown disaster on April 20th more than a MONTH after the administration was contacted points to a flaw in all 3800 wells in the Gulf?
http://www.thefoxnation.com/obama-administration/2...

Sure there may be ways to improve the designs and operations of wells, and I'd like to stop putting methane into the air, but one disaster doesn't condone the ban on all future work in the Gulf. It's asinine. This is just what we need another 50-75k workers unemployed, or perhaps even worse is the lifting of the drillers and moving to other countries, because they have to pay for those vessels. That means contracts in the gulf for wells become null and void.

I believe Feldman's point is simple... It's too far of a swing, it's too radical and there is no evidence pointing to what exactly happened yet. So how can we in good faith shut down an industry that has been running well with minimal issues for DECADES, in the <hope> to <change> something we don't yet understand? To me this is the definition of stupidity right now, in our economy.


RE: actually..
By Danish1 on 6/23/2010 11:37:11 AM , Rating: 3
Yep shutting everything down is a knee jerk populist reaction.

It's nothing new 10 out of 10 career politicians care more about votes than your nations best interest.


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