Thursday, June 24, 2010

Judge Martin Feldman Receives Death Threats After Banning Drilling Moratorium

In a move that a New Orleans publication is calling "bold," - presumably for standing up to Eric Holder, the Judge who overturned Obama's moratorium on Gulf drilling, is receiving death threats. Judge Martin Feldman is now accompanied by a federal marshal security team.

Judge Martin Feldman

After Feldman's initial decision came down, the government asked for a "stay" of the decision until they can get their case through the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Feldman refused the "stay."
The Judge noted that just because the BP well was beset with problems and resulted in a massive oil spill, there is no reason to believe other wells would have similar problems. "If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing,” Feldman wrote.
While the Judge said  there was no "rational connection between the facts found and the choice made," distractors questioned Feldman's integrity. At one time he held stock in Transocean and Halliburton. According to Bayoubuzz News, he owned those stocks in 2008 and sold them long before issuing the ruling.
The 5th District Court uses a sophisticated computer system to check whether judges have a conflict of interest in any legal proceeding. This system automatically determines whether a judge needs to be recused from a particular case. In this lawsuit, Feldman was allowed to take the case because he did not own any stock related to the parties involved.
To the dismay of coastal residents, overwhelmed with the BP oil spill, Obama's moratorium on drilling has further threatened any chance of a livelihood in the area:
I think he's lost his mind. If they shut down the oil fields, I might as well shut down," said Joan Strohmeyer, who owns a hotel in Venice, Louisiana.
Before the moratorium, Obama instructed Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to convene a panel of experts to determine what needed to be done now to further protect the Gulf area. After the panel signed off on the final report, Salazar and Obama changed the report, indicating the panel agreed with to a moratorium. In fact, they did just the opposite and a Berkley professor (yes, Berkley!) called Salazar on it, who then admitted he AND Obama changed the report to suit their preference for a moratorium:
If anyone should be questioned, it is the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who disregarded the advice of his own scientific experts in declaring the deep water drilling moratorium. In the wake of the Judge’s ruling, Salazar said he would issue a “refined” moratorium, ask for a stay of the ruling and appeal the decision. Some legal experts predicted the preliminary injunction would lead the government to compromise on the moratorium. In fact, Salazar decided to be confrontational instead of working with business interests in Louisiana to find common ground.
The lawsuit was brought against the U.S. Department of the Interior by "more than a dozen companies involved in offshore drilling operations.

Linked by Conservative Hideout - Thanks Matt!

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton