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February 3, 2011

Federal Judge holds Obama's Interior Department in contempt over drilling ban

Topics: Political News and commentaries

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A Federal judge has held Barack Obama's Interior Department in contempt for it's contempt of his earlier order striking down the Department's deepwater oil-drilling ban.

From The Hill (emphasis mine):

A Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday held the Interior Department in contempt for re-imposing a deepwater oil-drilling ban last year after the judge had struck down an earlier version of the moratorium.

The contempt finding provides political ammunition for Republicans and pro-drilling Democrats who say Interior is blocking offshore development. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) quickly called the order a "sharp rebuke of the Interior Department for continuing to place politics before all else following the BP spill."

Judge Martin Feldman’s ruling -- which is stuffed with harsh words for Interior -- orders the department to pay attorneys' fees in the case against last year’s drilling ban brought by several offshore oil services companies.

Feldman is the judge who last June struck down Interior’s initial drilling ban, issued in the wake of the BP oil spill. Interior issued a new version of the deepwater ban in July that it eventually lifted in October, but permitting for deepwater projects has not yet resumed.

Feldman’s order Wednesday takes Interior to task for the way it went about issuing a new, but very similar, version of the ban after he granted an injunction against the first one.

Judge Feldman sees the Interior Department's actions clearly for what they are - contempt for the court and the rule of law:
"Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the reimposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this Court with clear and convincing evidence of the government's contempt of this Court’s preliminary injunction Order," Fedman wrote in Wednesday's ruling.
So much for all that yak about "transparency and the rule of law being touchstones of this administration" ... in truth, the Obama administration doesn't give a twit about transparency and the rule of law. It's politics first, last, and always, and to hell with the law and the will of the people (79% of Louisiana voters believe offshore oil drilling should be allowed, and nearly as many support deepwater drilling).

Posted by Richard at February 3, 2011 10:35 AM



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