The Skywriter

Judge strikes down offshore drilling moratorium


Judge strikes down offshore drilling moratorium


By 1Sky intern Emma Fernandez. -- Luis

The latest disappointment in the Gulf oil disaster saga: Martin Feldman, a federal judge in Louisiana, struck down President Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling today in his ruling on a lawsuit filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services.

The moratorium was initially declared by Obama on May 6, and extended to last 6 months on May 27, but Feldman’s ruling prevents federal officials from enforcing the moratorium until a trial is held- at this point an indefinite period since Feldman did not specify a trial date. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced that the President would immediately appeal Feldman’s decision.

In the face of the horrific environmental disaster in the Gulf, this ruling not only presents an extreme safety risk to the area’s residents and wildlife but also sends an appalling message to the country and the rest of the world about our nation’s response to this disaster. In the wake of the spill, it seems impossible to question that offshore drilling is an

activit[y] [that] pose[s] a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage … a threat to life (including fish and other aquatic life), property, any mineral deposit, or the marine, coastal or human environment.

In other words, the exact description of activities that the statute discussed in the ruling permits the federal government to regulate. So you have to wonder how Feldman could possibly justify siding with Big Oil’s corporate interests over the safety of the American people and environment.

Look no farther than his financial history. Feldman has owned stock in Transocean, Hurcules Offshore, Halliburton, and Parker Drilling -- all major oil companies.

While Feldman claims this ruling is in the best economic interests of Americans, it’s clear that there’s another economic interest he is even more concerned with: his own.

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