Obama doubles down: Salazar to issue new order on drilling moratorium


Commenters were yelling in the earlier thread about The One daring to shut down a private company’s operations for safety reasons, but if you read the court’s opinion, you’ll see that that point’s not at issue. It’s not a question of the feds having the power, it’s a question of them needing to provide a compelling reason to exercise that power in light of how much economic damage it’ll do. The judge said their explanation wasn’t good enough to justify a blanket moratorium. Salazar’s response: If it’s an explanation you want, an explanation you shall have.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater drilling after a federal judge struck down the existing one.

Salazar said in a statement Tuesday evening that the new order will contain additional information making clear why the six-month drilling pause was necessary in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. The judge in New Orleans who struck down the moratorium earlier in the day complained there wasn’t enough justification for it.

Salazar pointed to indications of inadequate safety precautions by industry on deepwater wells. He said he would issue a new order in the coming days showing that a moratorium is needed…

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama believes that until investigations can determine why the spill happened, continued deepwater drilling exposes workers and the environment to “a danger that the president does not believe we can afford.”

There’s no limit, presumably, on how many orders he can continue to issue if the court keeps finding that his justifications for the moratorium are insufficient, but since he’s likely to kitchen-sink the next one, I doubt we have to worry about a third, fourth, or fifth go-round. Who knows? Maybe this time he’ll even cite some experts who agree with him.

While we await the new order, via the Right Scoop, enjoy Rahm revisiting one of his greatest hits while he and Charlie Rose entertain the tedious leftist pipe dream of “clean energy.”

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Read also at Legal Insurrection, Gulf Oil Spill Moratorium Decision – Government “Misleading”

…The key finding (at p. 3) was that the government was misleading in claiming that all experts agreed that the moratorium was necessary (emphasis mine):

Much to the government’s discomfort and this Court’s uneasiness, the Summary also states that “the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading. The experts charge it was a “misrepresentation.” It was factually incorrect. Although the experts agreed with the safety recommendations contained in the body of the main Report, five of the National Academy experts and three of the other experts have publicly stated that they “do not agree with the six month blanket moratorium” on floating drilling. They envisioned a more limited kind of moratorium, but a blanket moratorium was added after their final review, they complain, and was never agreed to by them…

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