Drill, baby, drill - Macleans.ca

Drill, baby, drill

Federal judge in U.S. overturns Obama’s moratorium on deep-water drilling


So much for Barack Obama’s moratorium on deep-water drilling. A federal judge has struck down the White House ban on new permits for deepwater drilling and the suspension of drilling at 33 exploratory wells in the Gulf. The moratorium was imposed in light of the ongoing spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but companies and individuals who depend on the drilling complained it was arbitrary. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman agreed, saying the Interior Department “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 White House has already said it would appeal the decision.

New York Times

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Drill, baby, drill

  1. Drill, baby, drill, indeed.

    Don't let the commie in the White House stop you.

  2. The judge is being short-sighted. A six-month moratorium wouldn't eliminate the industry or the economy of the area, and those that are already working would still have their jobs. It would simply be time for the industry to develop and contingency plans and backup measures. That obviously wasn't being done when the industry was being left to regulate themselves. After that time, drilling would continue and the region wouldn't have noticed the short halt on new drilling.

    • The other wells were all inspected after the spill and deemed to be in good working order. The BP spill is a failure to follow standard industry safety practice and a failure by regulators to enforce these standards. I don't think there is any unreasonable risk in allowing the other wells to continue operation provided rigorous inspection.

      • This is a problem with standard risk-analysis procedures as taught in business school. Multiply the probability of something going wrong by the damage it causes. The odds of a deep-water spill are extremely small, so the "total risk" is still very small, even though the potential risk is extremely high.

        The standard risk analysis works with shallow-water wells, because if only .001% of wells have spills, the problem isn't very big. With deep-water wells, as the BP spill shows, any leak is a disaster.

  3. Everybody needs a dog; even the oil industry.

  4. The issue is really with the role of the judge. He is certainly not qualified, nor has he taken the time and gathered the expert evidence to make this decision. In any case, as pointed out by YSP above, the issue is really about burden of proof. Does Obama need to prove the other wells are dangerous, or do they need to prove they are safe?

    Given that Obama is answerable to the country in a manner that no judge is, (Conan the G. may well get me for that) I would say this is Obama's call.

    Judges back to yer chambers.

    • It was O experts that convinced the Judge.

  5. I can't quite understand this decision. At the very least, there should be a moratorium until the safety of all the off-water rigs has been assured. If any concerns — like the dozens plaguing Deepwater Horizon — come to light, then this will give the oil companies the onus to rectify them.

    It's quite a different industry, but as soon as one Concorde aircraft had an accident, all the rest were grounded.

  6. I don't understand why, when safety deficiencies are identified in both well drilling and coal mining, why there seems to be no follow-up to see the the problems are addressed and fixed. A lot of people have died with outstanding items still waiting to be corrected. Is this a sign that maybe pay-offs can delay or defer inspections? The inspection process must be overhauled and if there is skullduggery, then those who have been lax in addressing the problems should be jailed!

  7. I would like to see an end to all oil drilling period. It would be nice to have clean energy alternatives, and for maybe people to walk more, take public transportation, carpool, and drive less. I actually do not drive at all and walk every where that is less than six miles. Reliance on this oil industry is a scary thing, and we need to get away from this. I do not drive because it scares the willies out of me, but now with off shore oil spills worse than Exxon Valdez , which at the time I thought was bad, I must say I am happy with my choice not to drive at all. I save a lot of money each month.

  8. My gosh, I never knew there were so many energy and environmental experts blogging here. I think the G20 participants should be told.

    • My comments are about common sense, and thankfully most of the enlightened leaders at the G20 summit realize off shore drilling is a dinosaur that need to go into extinction. Not mention how the voracious North American oil dependency makes us reliant on the Middle East as well. We would be better to get beyond it, and that is common sense politically and ecologically.

      • There's a difference between "getting beyond it" and forcing everyone to "get beyond it." Banning offshore drilling is not good at all. Many people will lose their livelihoods. Prices will increase. The economy will be hampered for no good reason.

        The economy depends on oil for more than just gasoline; it's in pretty much every product out there. Good for you (I suppose) on your personal decisions but do not dare force them upon me.

        • Yes people will lose jobs in the short term, but we can help train those individuals train for clean energy jobs. Wow, your language is a bit strong, like me forcing you to do something. However, off shore oil drilling is dangerous and scary, and the argument about job loss is not a strong enough one to continue this danger. A lot of people I talk to living on the Gulf of Mexico near the oil spill definitely feel this way now. Sort of you taking my opinions a little too personally because I cannot force you to do anything, and obviously I highly doubt my opinions on oil drilling offshore will bring it to an end.

          By the way that stale argument about how the economy depends on everything for gasoline is an old argument for just doing everything the same way, no matter how hazardous it is for people, animals, and the environment.

          • I tend to treat all those with liberal sensibilities with strong language, because I'm inherently offended that they feel they know what I should do with my own money than I do. I'm not trying to attack you, but just your opinion, because it is opinions like yours that elect those who do want to control our lives.

            And you missed the point though… my point is not that gasoline is what the economy depends on (though it surely is a significant portion), it's that almost every product out there requires oil to create it. Not just in terms of transportation, but in terms of the actual ingredients in the products themselves.

            In short, our standard of living is able to be what it is almost entirely thanks to oil.

  9. The UIS Minerals Management Service has approved 5 new offshore drilling projects since June 2, some exempted from detailed studies of their environmental impact, and 198 new leases since the BP spill began.

  10. Agree with the judge but have to wonder why bother having government if judges make the decisions. Doesn't that completely usurp democracy. Stupid is as stupid does. Wonder how long it will take for the south to go into full scale depression with oil workers, fisherman and service sector workers sucking wind. A perfect storm to oblivion.

    • The judges are only to ensure that the decisions that are made are not unconstitutional. They don't actively make the decisions, but simply reverse the decisions if they are in breach of the law. And thank goodness for that! Drill on!

      • This judge made a bad decision, and honestly there are various ways of interpreting the Constitution. I know here in the US the Tea Party movement believes that they are the only ones who understand the interpretation of the Constitution, but I do not see it that way. Obama was a lawyer and even taught Constitutional Law, whereas Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul do not think the 1964 Equal Rights Amendment were necessary, and that the government should not regulate how business deal with inequality or equality. He even admitted to not reading the amendment, which is part of the Constitution. The way I see it lot of people were opposed to Obama being elected, and they are going to declare anything he does unconstitutional, which does not make it so.

        • The feeling is Obama was hoping to justify banning an entire industry, based on his ideology. I almost can't shake the feeling that this was an intended sabotage (the spill occurred only a few weeks after he announced more offshore drilling; what a fantastic way to say to conservatives "hey, I'd love to drill, but because of this spill, now we can't," while ultimately pleasing liberals). I think moreso it's just Obama trying to use a situation to his advantage though, and not that it was one of his own doing.

          It just smacks of knee-jerk reactionism to please his followers.

          • And, not very surprinsgly, it turns out that the judge has vested interest in oil drilling.
            So before jumping on the bandwagon and calling Obama a "commie" you might want to wait and do your own research.

            You're not very well place to make a comment about "knee jerk reactions" really.

  11. It's not a knee-jerk reaction to call him a commie… it's not as if this one incident is what makes him one… it's just more evidence of it.

  12. Wow bad article, how about some facts please