22 June 2010
Deepwater Drilling Moratorium Overruled
A federal judge in New Orleans has granted an injunction against the government's 60-day moratorium on deepwater oil drilling following the Gulf oil spill, ruling that the government was "arbitrary and capricious" in the scope of the injunction because it failed to prove an imminent threat to life and property in the continued operation of other deepwater rigs. The judge rules that the moratorium threatened irreparable harm to jobs and business interests in the region. The government has vowed to appeal the ruling, which you can read for yourself here. It's actually pretty brief and to the point; it suggests that the government succumbed to irrational hysteria following the spill and imposed restrictions on presumably innocent drillers without establishing that they presented risks similar to the BP-Deepwater Horizon rig. The notion that deepwater drilling is dangerous may seem like common sense to many lay observers, but the law apparently requires a higher standard of proof before it condones the kind of curtailment of commerce contemplated by the moratorium. Drill, baby, drill is the order of the day.