[Editor's note: BP removed the cap Saturday at 12:37 p.m. CDT.]
Apparently how it goes is you can announce a moratorium, have the courts nullify it, and then go ahead and announce a new moratorium. I’m concerned about what that says about checks and balances, and where the line gets drawn. However, the stay on the moratorium was a fantastically corrupt ruling, one that put the value of corporate profits over human lives, and if it can be vacated, it should. A little torn about how I feel about this.
A federal court in New Orleans on Thursday refused to reinstate the six-month ban on drilling below 500 feet , which the Obama administration imposed after BP’s Macondo undersea well blew out on April 20.
But uncertainty over the situation—and the administration’s plans to impose a new moratorium while it investigates the causes of the explosion that triggered the well blowout — are keeping the drilling rigs shut.
“In the next several days we’ll be making an announcement about keeping the moratorium in place,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a department event in California.
“It will be a new moratorium,” he said, saying he felt the temporary drilling ban was essential.
Red alert: expect to hear that the unaccountable Obama Administration is intervening in private company business and destroying the economy. One offshore rig, the “Ocean Endeavor,” moved from the Gulf to Egypt, and I’m sure the “Remember the Ocean Endeavor” slogans are being readied on the right. A reminder to Glenn Beck when he puts it on the blackboard – endeavor is spelled with an A.
But if a government can do anything, it can police its own land. That includes the water, and if it holds the responsibility for granting deepwater leases, I fail to see how it can be compelled into doing so. Nor do I see how a lease can be irrevocable if the activities performed in conjunction with that least threaten the integrity of the United States, its coastline, its waters, and its people.
However, that seems to me a matter for the courts to decide, and even a corrupt ruling counts as a ruling. So this moratorium shell game is troubling and will only embolden those who see imperial visions of a Socialist Gubmint Takeover in their heads. If “uncertainty” is the problem, the 5th Circuit could fast-track the appeal and get this all wrapped up in the space of a week or so, obviating the need for a second moratorium.