Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Louisiana Federal Judge Blocks Drilling Moratorium

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the spill-baby-spill dept.

Earth 691

eldavojohn writes "In the ongoing BP debacle, the Obama administration imposed a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling and a halt to 33 exploratory wells going into the Gulf of Mexico. Now a federal judge (in New Orleans, no less) is unsatisfied with the reasons for this and stated, 'An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country.' The state's governor agrees on the grounds that blocking drilling will cost the state thousands of lucrative jobs." The government quickly vowed to appeal, pointing out that a moratorium on 33 wells is unlikely to have a devastating impact in a region hosting 3,600 active wells. And reader thomst adds this insight on the judge involved in the case: "Yahoo's Newsroom is reporting that the judge who overturned the drilling moratorium holds stock in drilling companies. You can view his financial disclosure forms listing his stock holdings online at Judicial Watch (PDF)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So? (4, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32657972)

Yahoo's Newsroom is reporting that the judge who overturned the drilling moratorium holds stock in drilling companies.

No conflict of interest here, no sir...

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658028)

Have a 401k or any investment vehicle that has DJIA or S&P400 indexes in it? Then you do, as well.

I have no problem with this ruling, seeing as the agency concerned has no evidence to show that what happened with the problematic rig is likely to happen, with any sort of likelihood, on any other rig.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658072)

The idea was to hit the "pause" button on 33 new wells while we figure out why the new-well drilling at Deepwater went so wrong.

There are still 3300+ wells operating in the Gulf which were unaffected by the moratorium.

Do you think that six months of wait on 1/100th of the Gulf wells will destroy the economy?

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658134)

It could be devastating to the small contingent of workers who build and supply parts for new rigs/wells/ships/etc

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658286)

They should all be compensated by BP.

Re:So? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658486)

For something the government did?
BP's well failing doesn't magically cause the new wells to become less safe. Either they're safe or they're not and it's the governments fault for not knowing one way or the other. They're in charge of oversite and this episode has made them realize they don't know how safe all this drilling is.

Re:So? (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658436)

It could be devastating to the small contingent of workers who build and supply parts for new rigs/wells/ships/etc

Point?
This keeps up and they'll be fully out of work...

Re:So? (4, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658158)

Another article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-22/u-s-deepwater-oil-drilling-ban-lifted-today-by-new-orleans-federal-judge.html [bloomberg.com] provides a little more insight.

They also said regulators failed to tell Obama that all active deepwater rigs passed an immediate re-inspection after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, with only two rigs reporting minor violations and the rest getting approval to continue operations.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

sehryan (412731) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658334)

Were these the same regulators that were "inspecting" Deepwater Horizon?

Re:So? (3, Interesting)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658342)

They also said regulators failed to tell Obama that all active deepwater rigs passed an immediate re-inspection after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, with only two rigs reporting minor violations and the rest getting approval to continue operations.

Would those inspections be conducted by the MMS whose head was recently kicked out when it was discovered just how much they were in bed with the industry?

Re:So? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658176)

There's a distinction between a production well and a exploratory well. A production well is already drilled an in place. Stopping exploratory wells will postpone new discoveries by more time when the moratorium ends. Also, it means we less knowledge to be gathered about the basins people have wells in - there's only so much that can be learned with sonics. Less knowledge about a basin means more risk to the production wells - is this what is intended? If not, the moratorium is stupid. With all due respect to Americans, but it's the production of a weak and coward government caring more about feel good measures and PR.

Sometimes shit happens. And shit happened at Deepwater. No one wanted it. It's risky business. Living is risky. Let's clean up the mess and keep drilling.

Drill, baby, drill.

Re:So? (0)

iPhr0stByt3 (1278060) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658234)

uhm, how do you feel about losing your job for 6 months?

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658354)

Go ask Gulf fishermen.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658378)

Is this before or after the largest environmental disaster in that geographic region, caused by my industry? Because frankly, I'm not *that* much of an asshole to think my job is above tens of thousands of square miles of ecosystem.

Re:So? (1)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658278)

except there are TONS of drilling expirations planned for this year as well as the accident occurred when the well was being temporary abandon NOT during actual drilling

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658116)

Have a 401k or any investment vehicle that has DJIA or S&P400 indexes in it? Then you do, as well.

The honorable gyrogeerloose is not actually presiding over those hearings, so it's not hypocrisy to point out that a conflict of interest exists there, if that's your aim.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658214)

I have no problem with this ruling, seeing as the agency concerned has no evidence to show that what happened with the problematic rig is likely to happen, with any sort of likelihood, on any other rig.

This is the opposite of insightful.
The event on the problematic rig was highly unlikely to happen, but when it did happen there was no way to recover. It's still leaking now - two months later. Claiming that lightning won't strike twice is not an intelligent response.

Re:So? (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658360)

Your response is the one in error. We walk around in fields accepting the risk that there's a tiny chance you could be hit by lightning. When lightning does strike and kill somebody a thousand miles away, that hasn't changed the risks involved. You're still going to walk around in fields.

Now, whether you should be subjecting yourself to the risk in the first place is a different issue. But if a single unlikely burst changes our policy then that means it was seriously flawed to begin with.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658426)

No, you're a moron. The BP leak was caused by pure greed of individuals cutting corners to boost their bonuses. The companies concerned have admitted there are other drilling platforms using the same gear under the same operational practices. What does that tell us? BP and other companies are sitting on more disasters by their own admission.

Re:So? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658374)

That, and all the other drillers are using the same plan as BP.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658452)

Deepwater Horizon was a series of mistakes with known causes, not a tail-end probabilistic event. Future deep-water drilling will likely be more carefully regulated.
 

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658380)

RTFD (Read the ******* Disclosure).

The Judge has stock in Transocean (Less than 15 thousand invested, paid out as a dividend less than one thousand). Would the administration like to have this Mistrialed on the grounds that the judge himself has a financial interest in preventing the moratorium?

Captcha: Culpable - What the judge might be?

Re:So? (1)

kick6 (1081615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658042)

No conflict of interest here, no sir...

Anyone who has ever put any money into any type of "high risk/high reward" mutual fund or other investment medium probably has ties to the Oil & Gas industry. You're not going to find a single politician at the federal level that doesn't have his hands in every big-business cookie jar if you dig some.

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658060)

I'd also be interested in where he lives. Nowhere near the coast or on a part of the coast that is already covered in tar, and he wants others to feel the petroleum love?

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

ccarson (562931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658074)

Be careful about judging motives when the merits of the decision sound perfectly reasonable to me. We're so used to being shamed into believing that just because personal inclinations exist we have to throw out all logic and reason. Don't throw the baby outwith the oily bath water.

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658260)

We're so used to being shamed into believing that just because personal inclinations exist we have to throw out all logic and reason.

We're dealing with big oil. Conflicts of interest over oil companies are something we'd be idiots not to take seriously. Remember Joe Barton, on the House Energy and Commerce Committee? Actually apologized to BP a few days ago for them having to pay for the damage they caused? Should we assume that guy had public interest at heart?

You don't know what you're talking about. (-1, Flamebait)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658406)

I am so sick of this lie. You need to go back and re-read the apology he issued. And stop spreading around this nonsense.

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658444)

People who use the phrase "big oil" non-ironically are just trying to use emotions to drive their point. Barton apologized because the Consitution doesn't give the president the authority to just take money without due process from a company and give it to people he wants. Many other economists are incensed over this issue.

Re:So? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658118)

he just wants some time to cash out his stocks. I bet he has done that right about now.

Re:So? (1)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658136)

yah well holding stock is different then being part of a lobby firm prove he is in the back pocket of BP and then we will talk

Re:So? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658172)

he appears to have over 50 investments listed, over half of which I can't identify what business they're in.

It's very possible that his financial planner has set up those investments and maintains them for him and he has no idea if any of them are in drilling or not.

But OTOH that doesn't make it any less of a conflict of interest, whether or not he's aware of it, it's there.

Re:So? (0, Troll)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658384)

Yahoo's Newsroom is reporting that the judge who overturned the drilling moratorium holds stock in drilling companies.

No conflict of interest here, no sir...

OK, that's fine. But that doesn't make his point any less valid. Obama, and the feds in general, fly by the seat of their pants having a giant overreaction to everything that happens. Yes, it's a horrible oil spill, but how will a moratorium help anything? Are we expecting more explosions and leaks in the near future?

That's just smart thinking. (3, Funny)

Helpadingoatemybaby (629248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658002)

Now when the same problems cause a second leak we can 100% confirm those problems are the cause!

How else will we address the third leak?

So basically... (1, Funny)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658004)

So basically it's like someone being raped by everyone in a club and saying they like the music a lot so they aren't staying out.

Re:So basically... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658044)

No, it's not, and you now owe a written apology to every rape victim in the world, you piece of filth.

Re:So basically... (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658126)

No, it's not, and you now owe a written apology to every rape victim in the world, you piece of filth.

Pats anonymous coward on the head.
There there.

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658046)

No, it's absolutely nothing like that. At all. In fact, even BadAnalogyGuy is crying from how atrocious that analogy was.

Re:So basically... (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658188)

No, it's absolutely nothing like that. At all. In fact, even BadAnalogyGuy is crying from how atrocious that analogy was.

in spite of the joking fashion of it, it is quite like that.
I could care less if you agree, it's blatantly obvious the place has been gang raped by the industry. It's even more laughable when it's *DURING* one of the incidents.
I realize that this is by an aonymous coward, but I figured I'd bring those up to snuff that don't quite understand.

Re:So basically... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658230)

you sure are fucking stupid.

Re:So basically... (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658396)

you sure are fucking stupid.

Christ, did a bunch of anonymous asses wake up?

Re:So basically... (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658418)

I could care less

Eyebrow twitch

Re:So basically... (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658284)

Except that listening to music is a luxury. The fuel that moves the tractors on the farm, or that gets the food from the farm to your supermarket, isn't.

Re:So basically... (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658496)

By the look of waistlines I've been seeing, we need a lot less of this fuel.

State economic hardship vs. National disaster (1)

Yaddoshi (997885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658022)

Seems to me in this case the Fed ought to get the last word in based on the longterm impact this may have on the entire country as compared to the economic impact this may have on Louisiana. However, because Louisiana still operates under Napoleanic law unlike the rest of the country, I suspect things are going to get very interesting very shortly.

Why should it? It certainly is screwing things up (0)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658258)

I do not see why the Federal Government should get the last word. If anything Obama's handling of this disaster is itself a disaster. Garnering political favor (shipper unions) in refusing to accept aid from foreign nations who have the ability to help (Netherlands in particular) by refusing to lift the Jone's Act which prevents non American crewed ships from operating in our waters. Bush immediately lifted the act in face of Katrina, where Bush ran into problems is that the some states, in particular Louisiana, refused Federal assistance except in very tightly controlled situations. Hell we even had a city practically thumb its nose at the Federal government and I dare say it was totally motivated by politics.

Now we have a Federal Government actively standing in the way of states trying to prevent an ecological disaster while at the same time using the same disaster as a means to eventually forever block drilling. We drill deep because its about the only place we can after being driven offshore. Other nations will drill what we won't so it would be best to do so with our people and our rules. Applying blame with reckless abandon over an entire industry is childish. You can damn well bet the other drillers are working hard to prevent a repeat; it just is too costly to good business to be wrong. No, we now have a Federal government with a commission of drilling haters who will "decide" what can and cannot be done yet the people chosen speak of the rules before anything is discussed.

If anything, just like Katrina, this has proven there are disasters and their are opportunities beyond the power of the government. The government is not the end all solution that some want it to be, so what do they do? Prevent people from proving it.

Re:Why should it? It certainly is screwing things (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658440)

Our rules got us into this mess.

Maybe if we required redundant BOPs with an acoustic shutoff...course, if that was the case we likely wouldn't be having this discussion.

Drill baby drill! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658030)

I love his comparison that just because one went doesn't mean the others will. Gee they use largely the same hardware and have virtually identical disaster response plans. Nope no risk at all. I think all that he sees at risk is his stock portfolio.

Re:Drill baby drill! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658482)

While we need caution we *NEED* to drill now. Not because we need the oil but because we are committed. What happens when the next attempt to 'seal the well' fail? There is a good chance that can happen. There is a good chance the platform that is down there will collapse on itself and fracture all over the place. It will end up smashing the drill pipe into several pieces. At that point there will be 100-200k in barrels leaking per day or more. There are no more 'backup plans'. The 2 august slant relief drill kill shots is it. The previous kill shot would only have worked if there were no other fractures in the drill pipe. It did not work. So there is probably at least one probably more. So they are slant drilling to get bellow the cracks. Now you have a huge multi-ton steal bolder sitting ontop of a broken straw. What do you think will happen eventually? Right now it is a race between that thing falling over and crushing the drill pipe and getting those slant wells completed.

What do we do then?

Drill baby drill. They estimate the field they were working was nearly 2-4 billion barrels of oil. That would take 200+ years to run its course. I dont think we can afford that. We will need to bleed the pressure off that sucker and it needs to have started yesterday...

Sitting back and waiting to see if everything is 'perfectly' safe will not cut it at this time. The whole field should be seized and every major oil producing company within control of the united states ordered in to drill.

civil war 2... (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658036)

the obaming.

Crying in your oil... (0)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658054)

Both sides are playing politics while the gulf is getting screwed. The judge's ownership of stock is as irrelevant as Obama taking millions in campaign contributions from BP.

Re:Crying in your oil... (3, Informative)

dunezone (899268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658082)

From what I read Obama didn't take contributions from BP, but he did take contributions from employees of BP.

Re:Crying in your oil... (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658120)

That's how it works. A portion of your pay in some firms is indirectly slotted toward campaign contributions for certain candidates. That way, the company isn't making one, big, glaring contribution.

Re:Crying in your oil... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658190)

I'm not saying this isn't true, in fact I can totally believe our campaign finance laws are that fucked up, but can you show me a verifiable instance of that occurring?

Seems like that would be almost like fraud or ballot stuffing.

Re:Crying in your oil... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658206)

Only with your consent. I know my company has a PAC that I don't contribute a dime to, and there are absolutely zero negative repercussions from that decision.

Re:Crying in your oil... (2, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658268)

Uh, no. That would be illegal. Unless they are offering an accounting service opt in where by employees could choose to donate some portion of their pay.

In any case, we're not talking about "millions" here. We're talking about less than $80,000. None of which came from PACs. $80k out of the $800,000,000 that Obama raised for his election campaign. From BP alone, the amount it's employees donated to Obama was more than the amount that it's employees and PAC donated to McCain, but for the oil industry as a whole, McCain pulled in over 3 times as much as Obama.

If it had been an Exxon or Trans-Ocean rig that had blown out, the numbers would have strongly favored McCain.

-Rick

Re:Crying in your oil... (2, Insightful)

startled (144833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658456)

Did you just play politics right after complaining about people playing politics?

Here's a tip for next time: if you had used a semicolon instead of a period, you could have made a statement and then contradicted yourself in the same sentence.

Judges are outdated (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658062)

It's sickening that, in this modern age, we let a single person throw around this much power.

Re:Judges are outdated (1)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658200)

Judges are supposed to apply the law. Laws aren't made by a single person, but by the legislature. How do you propose to decide if the government obeys the law or not?

Re:Judges are outdated (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658244)

...Oh..you mean like the office holder (Obama) that unilaterally declared the moratorium in the first place?

From Obama's speech about a week ago: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658076)

"A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe"

LOL, tool.

Re:From Obama's speech about a week ago: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658162)

In other words, he was lied to.

Re:From Obama's speech about a week ago: (0)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658420)

In other words, he was lied to.

Oh please. What happened to his vaunted intellect? This paragon of intelligence and reason who was supposed to lead us all to the promised land of enlightenment? NOTHING is "absolutely safe".

Either he actually believed it, in which case he's an idiot and worse than Bush ever was; or he knew better but didn't question the statement, in which case he's an ineffective and negligent Chief Executive; or he wasn't actually told that but is going into full-fledged CYA mode, in which case he's passing the buck and acting fairly un-Presidential.

Corporate ownership of Judicial Branch? (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658084)

Maybe he should get a nice BP logo tatooed on his lower back, so that his corporate master has something pretty to look at while buggering justice

Re:Corporate ownership of Judicial Branch? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658144)

justice

You're confusing "justice" with "prior restraint."

Re:Corporate ownership of Judicial Branch? (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658224)

Are you claiming that prior restraint of BP, in the form of administrative regulation, would have either been a bad thing or unconstitutional...

Of course it would have been neither, the administration has every right to regulate when it is in the public interest. Take your laissez faire free-market dreams and go play in a puddle of sludge

Re:Corporate ownership of Judicial Branch? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658292)

Maybe he should get a nice BP logo tatooed on his lower back, so that his corporate master has something pretty to look at while buggering justice

You're confusing "justice" with "prior restraint."

Ooh, restraints like leather straps, handcuffs, and rope?

Re:Corporate ownership of Judicial Branch? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658216)

Now that Sir, would be one hell of a political cartoon to see, although we both know it would never see print.

As always, units matter (5, Informative)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658106)

pointing out that a moratorium on 33 wells is unlikely to have a devastating impact in a region hosting 3,600 active wells

The above quote should read "a moratorium on 33 drilling wells". Drilling wells are a rate (ie 33 wells per month), active wells are a stock. The distinction is important. The vast majority of oil and gas jobs are involved in the drilling and completion process. Operating a well after it has been completed requires very little resources. For example, a typical onshore well may cost $2-3 million to drill and complete in a 14-30 day time period, but only cost around $2,000/month to operate after completion.

Please note that I'm not saying a drilling moratorium should not be passed. Just that the moratorium will likely have significant impact on the Gulf economy, and that the state of Louisiana's concerns are quite valid, and that the Federal government's dismissal of them here is misleading and likely inaccurate.

Re:As always, units matter (1)

KhazadDum (790345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658416)

Then don't fucking drill and save yourself those fucking millions. Seriously - you make the best argument - keeping those active wells producing has almost no overhead compared to making new ones. Or is losing an ENTIRE FUCKING COAST so unimportant to you as to oppose halting new activity for a little bit?

Big picture. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658458)

Just that the moratorium will likely have significant impact on the Gulf economy, and that the state of Louisiana's concerns are quite valid, and that the Federal government's dismissal of them here is misleading and likely inaccurate.

That's the thing: I don't know enough about the Gulf economy to say, but all things considered over the long term, fishing shrimping, tourism (have to include Florida on this one ), possible health consequences to the population, and every other thing that matter to an economy (I'll skip the "worthless" wildlife that offers no economic benefit to the region), will this moratorium really have that much of an effect on the economy? And if you consider the region wide damage, what are the net costs - meaning, after this spill, how long before the regions economy is back in the black? Tourism in that area is going to be affected until tarballs stop washing up on shore and I'm afraid, the Gulf fisheries are going to be going through some horrible times - fishermen on Government assistance (being paid to sit home).

We really need to think of the big picture here.

Re:Big picture. (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658494)

Fortunately, there aren't a lot of Gulf fisherman, compared to the other coasts. Shrimpers and clammers, though, are screwed.

Biased article much? (4, Informative)

iceperson (582205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658110)

No mention in the link about the "experts" that the administration consulted coming out and saying they don't support the ban and that the administration misrepresented their position. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/22/judge-halts-obamas-oil-drilling-ban/ [washingtontimes.com]

Re:Biased article much? (1)

Maniacal (12626) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658376)

Thanks for posting that. I would have blocked it too. If Obama and team can present an honest and solid case then I'll start wondering about the Judge's allegiance.

Yeah - but does the reasoning make sense? (1)

stevew (4845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658112)

You can sit there and be critical of the judge all you choose - but the question still remains. Does his ruling make sense? If you look at the economic impact of the President's decision - it's just as much of a catastrophe for the region as the Oil! Further - these accidents don't happen every 15 minutes - those arguing against drilling because of possible second episode are just playing an emotional argument, not a logical one.

Gee - why not pick on the judge because he was a Reagan appointee?

Re:Yeah - but does the reasoning make sense? (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658168)

Yes, I'm sure temporarily closing less than 1% of the active wells in the region will be absolutely devastating to the local economy. Clearly, the oil engineers need to take the time to reinspect their installations and re-think containment and capping procedures; current procedures have show themselves to be extremely ineffective. Taking 6 months to review policy and technology involved after a disaster of this magnitude seems pretty logical to me. Besides, how exactly is it this judge's job to weigh the harm and benefit of a presidential order?

Re:Yeah - but does the reasoning make sense? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658356)

Besides, how exactly is it this judge's job to weigh the harm and benefit of a presidential order?

Simply put, the plaintiffs have argued that the government does not have the authority to impose such a ban. The judge considered the argument, researched the applicable law, and agreed. This would be no different than the government trying to suppress freedom of speech -- if the government does not have the authority to enact a law, it's up to the judicial system to strike it down.

Yeah? (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658294)

If you look at the economic impact of the President's decision - it's just as much of a catastrophe for the region as the Oil!

Oh yes, if you look at the impact of potentially wrecking the fishing and tourism industries of a thousand lines of coastline and compare that to the 6-month delay of constructing a number of new wells that equal about a percentage point of the wells currently out there, you'll find that they're absolutely equivalent catastrophes! Totally the same!

Crooked Judge (2, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658124)

Why in the world would a judge hear a case when the outcome could effect his own wealth? Secondly does the judicial branch even have standing to enter the fray when the president makes a decision in time of great national emergency? I would think that even the Supreme Court may lack the authority in this case.
          I can not exactly quote Bill Maher on the lost jobs issue but I will amend it to say that he said stuff your damn job. You people want to destroy the oceans, destroy the forests and completely destroy the Earth. It's time for you absurd red necks to get an education and work in areas that do not destroy nature. His version was much more insulting. But the man does have a point. Whether it is the coal mine areas of our nation or the oil rig areas or the areas being deforested by sprawl and timber harvesting it is not the Ph.D. people that we see doing those tasks. It is left to people who have very rudimentary educations or no education at all. The more we allow them to continue in ways that they have done in the past the more harm will fall upon all of us.

Re: Crooked Judge (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658394)

The Judge has the power to decide on things like this because in the United States the President does not have absolute authority over the United States.

When Katrina hit the Gulf Coast the President of the United States couldn't send military forces and aid to Louisiana because the Governor of that state didn't authorize Federal troops to act in a law enforcement role.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_government_response_to_Hurricane_Katrina#Louisiana [wikipedia.org]

As for this being a "great national emergency", the President has not authorized an exclusion to the Posse Comitatus Act nor has the Attorney General requested that the Secretary of Defense provide emergency assistance if civilian law enforcement is inadequate to address certain types of threats involving the release of nuclear materials, such as potential use of a nuclear or radiological weapon.

So, the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches still have separation of powers.

Re: Crooked Judge (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658422)

HOLY SHIT!

You think that the PhDs are less responsible for the environmental impact of these activities than the Blue-collars paid to do it? The white-collars are just as much to blame for buying the gasoline, electric power, steel products, housing paper, etc!

The reason corporations pay people to do these things is because they can make money doing so. They can make money because people buy their shit, so don't complain about the 'rednecks' that are just trying to get an honest job. Look to yourself and your willingness to get that latte in a paper cup, to grumble about high gas prices, etc. Just because you aren't out there cutting the trees yourself doesn't mean that you are responsible for their destruction when you are buying the stuff being made from those trees. If no one would buy, the tree wouldn't be cut.

Of all the people responsible for the environmental impact of this stuff the low-level operators are about the least responsible (except that they also contribute to demand).

Disclosure: I am not a PhD, but I do have a master's and I do not cut down trees for a living, I write code.

not a problem (5, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658160)

I honestly don't think this will be much of an issue. You've seen what happened to BP. If you're a deep water drilling company and you don't have all your ducks in a row after that, you're an idiot. So Obama's reasoning for the moratorium, until the safety measures can be re-evaluated, is redundant because these companies had better be at the forefront of responsibility without further external incentives.

Kind of like how Ford, GM, and Honda were probably double and triple checking their acceleration systems after Toyota's little stint in the headlines recently.

Why write "holds stock"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658166)

He held stock in 2008, which is clear from even the most superficial glance at the document. Why write "holds stock"?

The Judge used a computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658174)

That's the slashdot angle.

Why is this under "hardware"? (0)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658182)

Oh - it was posted by kdawson. Nevermind.

I wonder what that cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658184)

A Federal judge... I wonder what that cost the oil companies.

I'm fine with this ruling... (-1, Flamebait)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658198)

Obama has done enough damage to our economy.

His 6 month moratorium was overreaching and a cynical first installment for the anti-civilization, anti-prosperity "Cap-and-Tax" legislation being greased up to force down our throat like Obama's "Early Death Care".

One... --ONE-- well on over thirty thousand in the gulf had a blowout.

With over eighty thousand jobs at stake and a realistic 3 year wait for these rigs to return to the gulf, Obama's feckless, reactionary leadership example after example is showing him to be the empty suited, over-preened, wet behind the ears college boy he truly is.

But other than that, I have no opinion about this.

Re:I'm fine with this ruling... (1)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658306)

Dude, are you for real?
Do you know how much this ONE blowout will cost to everyone, including you? Do you really know?

Those employees can look for another job, but we just can't look for another planet, alright?

Re:I'm fine with this ruling... (0, Flamebait)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658442)

Next to what Obama has saddled both you and I with skyrocketing national debt, this will cost me very little.

The Mississippi River pours as much water into the Gulf of Mexico in -38 seconds- as the BP oil leak has done in two months.

You are displaying classic liberal exaggeration syndrome.

Perhaps you would be more comfortable running in circles, loosing feathers, clucking "The Oil is FALLING! The Oil is FALLING!".

Grow up. Travel some. Learn that numbers mean things.

Re:I'm fine with this ruling... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658464)

Gulf Of Mexico Ecosystem > 80,000-100,000 jobs

The Economist's opinion (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658242)

Interestingly enough, I just read an editorial about Obama v. BP [economist.com] in this week's issue of The Economist. The subheading: "America's justifiable fury with BP is degenerating into a broader attack on business." Some choice quotes:

Mr Obama decided to "inform" BP that it must put adequate funds to meet all compensation claims into an escrow account beyond its control, although he has no authority to do so. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, instructed it not to pay a dividend until all claims tied to the spill are settled. Her fellow Democrats in Congress are trying to raise BP's liability retroactively--the sort of move America's courts rightly frown on. Mr Salazar, on even thinner legal ice, suggested that the government would hold BP accountable not just for the harm directly done by the spill, but also for the jobs lost in the oil business thanks to the freeze on oil drilling in deep water that he himself has imposed.

The magazine frowns upon all these things and it makes some sense. If, as The Economist suggests, BP's value has already dropped by $89 billion and that's "far in excess of all but the most dire forecasts of the ultimate costs of the spill," what is to be gained by all this backlash against the oil industry but a bunch of political posturing?

News flash: The United States is still inexorably reliant on its oil industry. If the Obama administration wants to do something about future oil disasters, maybe it should think more seriously about that and what can be done about it. Also, had government done a better job of regulating the oil industry in the first place, BP's shoddy practices might not have gone unchecked and this disaster might never have happened.

Re:The Economist's opinion (1)

boombaard (1001577) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658460)

See The Economist Off the Deep End on BP and “Vladimir Obama” [cjr.org] and On the Curious and Misguided Defenses of BP [nakedcapitalism.com] for a nice rebuttal of the Economist's idiotic arguments:

The Economist has a pathetic leader this week criticizing Obama for hammering BP and raising the ridiculous idea that his corporate-friendly administration is anti-business.
It actually (really!) calls the president “Vladimir Obama” and writes:
The collapse in BP’s share price suggests that he has convinced the markets that he is an American version of Vladimir Putin, willing to harry firms into doing his bidding.
The normally sober Economist has gone off the wagon here.
First, it knows better than to “suggest” what “the markets” think. Second, that blew up in its face rather quickly. Instaputz points out that BP shares soared 10 percent on news of the $20 billion fund the Economist’s spin here is obnoxious. If anything ends up ruining BP, it will have been its own actions. Go read this The Wall Street Journal piece for a look at the company’s negligence.
And BP should have to pay for all the associated costs of its actions, not just the actual bill for cleaning up the oil.they will be very, very costly.
Moreover, a company’s market capitalization is based on expectations for future earnings. This disaster will surely make it harder for BP to get drilling rights that investors expected it to have just two months ago. The political climate for offshore drilling has just undergone a seismic change.
Another big factor in BP’s share decline is pure uncertainty. Investors don’t like it. Right now, the only thing certain is that BP’s hole is going to be spewing toxic oil into the Gulf of Mexico for at least another two months

Walruses (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658254)

It seems to me that any permit in the Gulf that mentioned protecting walruses should be declared defective and fraudulent and canceled immediately without compensation with criminal prosecution to follow. Enjoin that.

Drilling apparatus' will go elsewhere. (2, Insightful)

gebbeth (720597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658262)

The drilling rigs are not cheap. Having them sit idle will cost millions and millions of dollars. There is demand for them elsewhere in the world. They will contract out to other companies operating in other countries. When the moratorium is lifted in 6 months, there won't be any available rigs to be had which means no jobs either.

TL;DR: The Key Sentence in the ruling (3, Interesting)

Alaska Jack (679307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658310)

From page 20:

The Court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the agency, but the agency must "cogently explain why it has exercised its discretion in a given manner" (State Farm, 463 U.S. at 48). It has not done so.

    - AJ

okay with me as long as (1)

si3n4 (540106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658346)

okay with me - promise no more pictures of dead birds and sad fishermen if another one goes just as they get this one stopped . It seemed kind of obvious that the regulators of this enterprise were as rotten and deficient as any in the government and we have absolutely no assurance anything out there in the terribly remote deep gulf can be known to be built to reasonable standards until someone looks . 6 months to try to finally take a look at where we are now seemed pretty minimal to me . Clearly Obama should have thought of this before supporting more of the same - thought the quality of the financial regulators might have clued him in . Oh well - maybe having the gulf coated with oil will slow water evaporation and reduce hurricane severity this year

Obama Knew About Deepwater Horizon 35,000 Feet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658352)

Well Bore [oilprice.com] .

Change That DOESN'T Matter !!

Yours In Kranoyarsk,
Kilgore Trout

Other oil companies eager to join BP? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658388)

It seems like the other oil companies are eager to join BP in the public relations garbage can. We have seen no other companies step up and say they will review their own safety procedures, despite lots of evidence that the others are almost as bad -- or worse and luckier, who knows since inspections are obviously not finding what there is to find?

Very Logical Decision (1)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658470)

His point was that just because one driller made a mistake, doesn't mean the rest are bad. Every time someone has a car accident, we don't shut down the freeways for 6 months.

If not for the Federal Government, they never would have gone to deep water. The Feds passed a law limiting BP's liablity, and now they want to repeal it. They also disallow off shore drilling as well as on shore drilling. So if not for the Federal Government, they never would have gone to the risky deep water drilling.

Everyone wants to villify BP even though they help to keep oil costs low(because they increase competition with the other oil companies), and employ 80,000 people. I hope those who went out to protest DON'T OWN CARS, or any other petroleum based product. I'm sure they do, hypocrites.

My answer - nuke em (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32658498)

Having worked in nuclear power for 25+ years I know something about how accidents happen and how to prevent them. This event was a total institutional failure. BP failed, the MMS failed, the other oil companies and supporting companies failed. This is epic failure like we haven't seen since Chernobyl, worse in my view because the reactor (in this case, the well) is still critical, still on fire, and a mile under water. The blow out preventers have been shown to not work, the emergency plan has been shown to be a fraud (walruses anyone - dead people phone numbers anyone, buhler?) the technology to respond to blowouts and 10-100,000 barrel a day leaks simply does not exist, and the regulator might have well been saboteurs for all the good they did. A 6 month moratorium is not even close to enough time to fix these problems. But I would put the ball back in the industry's court, my solution would be to make 10CFR50 App B (nuclear power regulation for quality) apply to deep well drilling and tell the industry they can start drilling as soon as their CEO states under oath or affirmation (i.e. lie and its a crime) that their rigs comply. Safely handling high hazards ain't new, many industries do a fine job - BP has proven it can't and by the above revelations we have no assurance that Exxon, Shell, Halliburton or anyone else can either. Shutting down a few wells will hurt the economy of Louisiana and I say tough shit until you fix your problem. But on the other hand I never saw so many people working at a nuke like the ones that have been shut down for safety problems. Once the oil companies see what they have to do to get their practices fixed there will be many many many jobs for the people that will be doing the fixing.

It's like this people (2, Interesting)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658504)

The oil companies have rigs THEY bought. That money is sitting out there doing absolutely nothing. Say...Brazil has an oil field. Well, guess what, the rigs getting moved to a place where they are actually wanted, and a place where money will start coming in. As for the gulf well, just imagine you spent 15 million dollars to move your rig and now HObama says its ok to start drilling again. You think they are going to move those oil rigs back? Fat chance. Once they are gone, it might be 20 years before anyone even thinks about drilling in the gulf again and as for the jobs in that area, better learn Spanish and head to Brazil or Venezuela because those jobs are going to be gone...for good...yeah I think that about sums it up as to why its so important to get drilling started again(and yes I am all for tightening the crap out of safety regulations)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?