28
Jun
10

Did the Administration Act ‘Arbitrarily and Capriciously’?

According to a Louisiana District Court ruling, the Administration can’t prove that whatever caused the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is likely to cause another. The ruling handed down June 22, 2010 contends that the fact that one oil well collapsed doesn’t mean others will, as much as the fact that Toyota’s brakes failed doesn’t mean we must now recall Fords and Chevys (I know–I’m supposed to call them Chevrolets, but I’m too ornery).

How do I know this? I didn’t read news reports from MSM or the Other guys. Instead, I went to the primary source–I read the the court ruling that overturned the Admin ban on all offshore drilling over 500 feet. President Obama wanted time to figure out what caused BP’s problems. The court said, do it without shutting down other drilling.

The reasons the court cited are:

  • the administration trivialized the economic impact of the moratorium
  • the plaintiffs “established a likelihood of successfully showing that the Administration acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the moratorium”
  • “an invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet 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 moratorium “does not seem to be fact-specific” and did not account for the safety records of the many companies that operate in the Gulf. “Are all airplanes a danger because one was?” the judge wrote. “All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing.”

It has become obvious to me what we as scientists know to be true–we must research a hypothesis and draw factual unbiased opinions rather than fall sway to what we wish would be true or what our emotions identify as truth. This is also true for non-scientists. In this interesting political climate, neither party is trustworthy to do what’s best for the common man, so we all must get involved, read and research, ignore opinions based on emotion.

To that end, here’s the Louisiana court’s opinion (Case 2:10-cv-01663-MLCF-JCW Document 67 Filed 06/22/10) for you to draw your own conclusions:

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA HORNBECK OFFSHORE SERVICES, CIVIL ACTION L.L.C ET AL. VERSUS NO. 10-1663 KENNETH LEE “KEN” SALAZAR SECTION “F”
ET AL.

ORDER AND REASONS
This case asks whether the federal government’s imposition of a general moratorium on deepwater drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico was imposed contrary to law. Before the Court is the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction. For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.

Background
The plaintiffs in this case provide a myriad of services to support offshore oil and gas drilling, exploration, and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico’s Outer Continental Shelf. They challenge the six-month moratorium on offshore drilling operations of new and currently permitted deepwater wells that was imposed on May 28, 2010 by the Department of the Interior and the Minerals
Management Service. The government edict was in reaction to the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform explosion on April 20, 2010, and the resulting devastation. In response to this unprecedented disaster, the President of the United States formed a bipartisan commission–the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling–and tasked it with investigating the facts and circumstances concerning the cause of the blowout. The President also ordered the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a thorough review of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and to report, within
thirty days, “what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to improve the safety of oil and gas exploration and production operations on the outer continental shelf.”
(For more, click here)

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