NEW ORLEANS – A federal judge struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, saying the government rashly concluded that because one rig failed, the others are in immediate danger, too.

The White House promised an immediate appeal. The Interior Department had halted approval of any new permits for deepwater drilling and suspended drilling of 33 exploratory wells in the Gulf.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama believes strongly that drilling at such depths does not make sense and puts the safety of workers "at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford."

Several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide other services to offshore drilling rigs asked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to overturn the moratorium.

They argued it was arbitrarily imposed after the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 workers and blew out the well 5,000 feet underwater. It has spewed anywhere from 67 million to 127 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.

Feldman sided with the companies, saying in his ruling the Interior Department assumed that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.

"The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an unprecedented, sad, ugly and inhuman disaster," he wrote. "What seems clear is that the federal government has been pressed by what happened on the Deepwater Horizon into an otherwise sweeping confirmation that all Gulf deepwater drilling activities put us all in a universal threat of irreparable harm."

His ruling prohibits federal officials from enforcing the moratorium until a trial is held. He did not set a trial date.

The Interior Department said it needed time to study the risks of deepwater drilling. But the lawsuit filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, La., claimed there was no proof the other operations posed a threat.

Company CEO Todd Hornbeck said after the ruling that he is looking forward to getting back to work.

"It's the right thing for not only the industry but the country," he said.

Earlier in the day, executives at a major oil conference in London warned that the moratorium would cripple world energy supplies. Steven Newman, president and CEO of Transocean Ltd., owner of the rig that exploded, called it an unnecessary overreaction. BP PLC was leasing the rig.

"There are things the administration could implement today that would allow the industry to go back to work tomorrow without an arbitrary six-month time limit," Newman told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.

The moratorium was declared May 6 and originally was to last only through the month. Obama announced May 27 that he was extending it for six months.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal and corporate leaders said that would force drilling rigs to leave the Gulf of Mexico for lucrative business in foreign waters.

They said the loss of business would cost the area thousands of lucrative jobs, most paying more than $50,000 a year. The state's other major economic sector, tourism, is a largely low-wage industry.

Tim Kerner, the mayor of Lafitte, La., cheered Feldman's ruling.

"I love it. I think it's great for the jobs here and the people who depend on them," said Kerner, whose constituents make their living primarily from commercial fishing or oil.

But in its response to the lawsuit, the Interior Department said the moratorium is needed as attempts to stop the leak and clean the Gulf continue and new safety standards are developed.

"A second deepwater blowout could overwhelm the efforts to respond to the current disaster," the Interior Department said.

The government also challenged contentions the moratorium would cause long-term economic harm. Although 33 deepwater drilling sites were affected, there are still 3,600 oil and natural gas production platforms in the Gulf.

Catherine Wannamaker, a lawyer for environmental groups that intervened in the case and supported the moratorium, called the ruling "a step in the wrong direction."

"We think it overlooks the ongoing harm in the Gulf, the devastation it has had on people's lives," she said. "The harm at issue with the Deepwater Horizon spill is bigger than just the Louisiana economy. It affects all of the Gulf."



I for one think that with Catherine Wannamaker's logic we should ban all driving on the highways for the next six months since there is an even greater risk to imminant danger/death.  Its this kind of thinking that gets the wh*** "the sky is falling" mentality going.   Now, Im sure there was a lot of political pressure on that Judge to rule against Obama, BUT there was no doubt a lot more pressure against him to rule in favor with Obama as well.  So, I respect the decision to not ban drilling.   Also, if Obama is so against deep water drilling why did the govt just approve a 2 billion dollar loan to Brazil to explore deep water drilling???? 

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People are finally realizing that an elected president does not have the authority to restrict trade.
If one person dies from breathing air, does he have the right to ban air? Nope! Way to go Judge, hope now your phone will stop ringing 24 / 7 so that you and your family can sleep tonight (sorry bout the wrong number calls last nigth - -LOL).
Leave it to FLYNN to not only have nothing to add to the discussion but also attempt to build himself up by attacking another. And not to mention his trend of putting a sexual connotation involving mothers, other men, or children into 86.2% of every post he makes. I've out grown our play time FLYNN. You're ignored. :)
PS I am typing this to you from *gasp* offshore.
For all my over-analysis, I like to follow Occam's Razor for cause and effect, I also like to take the standpoint of devils-advocate to make sure that the inside of the box doesn't get all of the attention.

Here's my over simplified solution.

1. The BOP's used will no longer be the POS, 1970's, retooled, modded...over-sized bastard child of a clump weight and a pipe-plug. This is 2010, ALL BOP's used in the GOM should have every safety feature that is available.

2. Geological surveys, remember those? Yeah, those are important in determining not only if there are reserves in a given area, but also if the surrounding strata can support a well. There is the highest probability that the well is compromised below the seafloor, well below the end of the BOP. Due to the makeup of the area, soft silt, baby-s***, mudslide-city, as are most points east of the mississippi river. Anyone who has walked pipe in main pass knows exactly what I am talking about. Freaking mud-dunes that shift around. Anyone ever been in MP and jetting up a line, and it seemed that it's cover jumped from 3' to 7' to OMFG 20' ish....Yeah, believe it or not, the jet sled didn't do it that way, the bottom out there is as stable as a politician's promises, and as concrete as jello.

Damnit, it the ground sucks above the well, it's 2010 we can drill sideways if we have to. and or, let's design wells specifically for a soupy tertiary layer over a certain depth....Ask a mudlogger, he'll point out what I mean in these thingy's called "cores"

As far as lunatic politicians attempting to operate outside of their job-scope...

Mr. Obama,

I do not know if they covered this at Harvard, especially in the course of study you took, but they have a Doc**ent called the "Constitution" and this doc**ent was written specifically to distinguish between the differing powers, and assign limits to each.

The powers of US presidents, even those born in Kenya, elected illegally, and backed by the "third-way" Oligarchs, are outlined rather specifically in Article Three of the doc**ent. If you do stuff outside of Article Three you are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and should be impeached by the congress, as outlined in Article One...

Or, just let us know that you plan on just doing what you want, and do it on record.

See, I never un-took my oath to defend the people and constitution of the united states of America, form all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Keep breaching the American code...keep attacking the doc**ent that over a dozen men in three generations of my immediate family died protecting...Keep rigging elections and pressing ghost issues.

You are presenting data, pretty soon we will know who pulls the majority of the strings...."Pay no attention to the man in the closet" indeed. How's this, you hold us hostage with fear, that makes you a terrorist....we're allowed to torture terrorists...

Breathe in, out, in, out, in, 1/2 mist, may be too quick and clean for all the pain you owe... and it seems like our laws now make it legal to simulate killing you for.......years right?

We don't have a democracy or a republic, we have an auction.

And that makes me sick.
October 2008: Obama Said, "I Believe In The Need For Increased Oil Production. We're Going To Have To Explore New Ways To Get More Oil, And That Includes Offshore Drilling." "And let's take the example of energy, which we already spoke about. There is going to be the need for each and every one of us to start thinking about how we use energy. I believe in the need for increased oil production. We're going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling. It includes telling the oil companies, that currently have 68 million acres that they're not using, that either you use them or you lose them. We're going to have to develop clean coal technology and safe ways to store nuclear energy. But each and every one of us can start thinking about how can we save energy in our homes, in our buildings. And one of the things I want to do is make sure that we're providing incentives so that you can buy a fuel efficient car that's made right here in the United States of America, not in Japan or South Korea, making sure that you are able to weatherize your home or make your business more fuel efficient." [Transcript, Second Presidential Debate, 10/7/08]

I think this should be played in loop on the radio. It will make both the pro-drilling crowd hate him but it will make the green crowd loath him as well. :) And that makes good sense to me. Unite to boot a common problem and then work out our differences later.
Least Congress and the guy living at 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave. forget; what so many have shed their life blood to protect:

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wh***some and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circ**stances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circ**stances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
"He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries."

That this has not happened yet seems to be one of the only real saving graces at the moment.


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