This is getting to be routine. Some individual - judge, in this case - does something to offend the sensibilities of liberal activists and, voila!!, said action is determined by those same activists to be directly attributable to financial self interest or being beholden to special interests. It happens virtually every time. In this instance, episode 936 I believe, a federal judge ruled today that the off-shore drilling moratorium ordered by President Obama was "capricious," to say the least, and unwarranted, and he lifted the ban.
Feldman says in his ruling that the Interior Department failed to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.
Logical? Yes, but who cares? Obviously it's because he had stock in a drilling company.
Environmentalists and liberal lobbyists were quick to note Judge Martin Feldman’s financial interest in Transocean, an offshore drilling equipment contractor likely to be hit hard hit financially if the drilling ban continues. A number of groups circulated his disclosure forms to Washington reporters within minutes of his decision to reinstate drilling.
"A number of groups," like the Soros-funded and humorously misnamed Center for American Progress. Critique of the judge's logic? No. An alternative reading of the applicable laws? No. Just a smear, and a lousy one at that. Never mind that the federal government approved the drilling permits, and never mind that the other rigs pass safety inspections. Is this the only stock he owned? Is this a major portion of his portfolio? Did he buy more before ruling? Irrelevant!! Blasphemy!!
Liberals seem to complain a lot about judges rulings that go against them, kind of like Italian soccer players. Former President Jimmy Carter had a little whine today (HT Maetenloch), for example, about a Supreme Court ruling (6-3 decision) that barred any type of support for terrorist organizations, a decision which is really hard to argue against. But even worse is the financial/influence smear immediately and irresponsibly advanced, and with little other than outrage at the outcome behind it.
It may not matter. The President is busy stacking the commission assigned to look into the disaster with anti-drilling activists, and it's not likely that looking into this is going to change their minds, the opinions of recognized engineering experts notwithstanding.
Even as this commission moves forward, engineering experts across the country have agreed that there is no scientific reason for a blanket drilling ban. The Interior Department invited experts to consult on drilling practices, but as we wrote last week eight of them have since said their advice was distorted to justify the Administration's six-month drilling moratorium.
Judging from that decision and now from Mr. Obama's drilling commission, the days of "science taking a back seat to ideology" are very much with us.