“…clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt.”
Last summer federal judge Martin Feldman ruled that the federal government must end the deep-sea drilling moratorium that was issued by the Interior Department after the BP oil spill. Despite the federal court’s decision, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar persisted with a new moratorium and restrictions to prevent deep-sea drilling.
The Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater-drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down, a New Orleans judge ruled.
Interior Department regulators acted with “determined disregard” by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling, following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman of New Orleans ruled yesterday.
“Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling.
“Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition 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,” Feldman said.
Each “enhanced drilling safety rule” that was implemented by Salazar after his ruling has since been rescinded. Some were struck down in his court and some were voluntarily rescinded by the feds. However, to get around the Judge Feldman the Obama administration decided to simply stop issuing drilling permits.
“President Obama claims to have lifted the Gulf moratorium, yet not a single deepwater permit has been issued in nine months,” Jim Adams, the association’s president, said in a release after the ruling. “As a result, thousands of workers are out of jobs, Americans are paying more for gasoline and heating oil, and our nation is becoming even more dependent on unstable nations for our energy needs.”
Keep in mind that if you were personally in contempt of court you would likely end up in jail. But not the Obama administration! As typical with small tyrannies, the federal government lifted itself above the law to do what it wanted to do.
The plaintiff’s general council stated, “The government was not at liberty to impose its own will after the court struck down the policy. The government, like any citizen, had to obey the ruling, even if it didn’t like it.”
Do not except anyone to lose their job or end up behind bars in this case. The worst punishment the government will get is a bill for the plaintiff’s legal fees. If it were the other way around do you think they would have gotten off so easy? What about the billions in lost revenue to the many business and employees that were affected? Sadly, they are just collateral damage in this power struggle.