In practice, media reports convey protection of a monarchy, as if the judiciary has no involvement.
On June 22, a federal judge made 2 separate orders that Obama was “immediately prohibited” from enforcing the drilling ban, one for a lack of basis and another on economic harm.
On July 8th, the Fifth Circuit upheld the June 22 order.
On September 1, a federal judge denied the ban again, based on the fact that Obama and Salazar resubmitted the same evidence that failed to make the case in June.
In numerous articles about resumption of drilling, the impression is left that Obama can do whatever he wants about oil drilling, as if we don't have a judiciary. Or a congress for that matter. The media claim that without them, "our democracy" would be in danger.
- How is it not dangerous to omit reporting about the judiciary's role in this case?
- Obama isn't really saying drilling will resume, but that companies can start making appointments to discuss new rules and regulations. Then you have the 'sad' problem of inspectors.
- sadly, the White House doesn't have enough "inspectors" to get things moving anytime soon:
- "“It will clearly not be tomorrow and it will not be next week,” said Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement.... “We don’t have a larger number of additional inspectors in place,” Bromwich said.
- Salazar scolded that
- beatings will continue until morale improves).
6/22 Bloomberg report: "Deepwater drilling ban lifted by New Orleans federal judge"
"U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman yesterday granted a preliminary injunction, halting the moratorium. He also “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the ban. ...
“The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium,” Feldman said in his 22-page decision. “The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger.”
“The court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the agency, but the agency must ‘cogently explain why it has exercised its discretion in a given manner,’” Feldman said, citing a previous ruling. “It has not done so.” Feldman in a separate order yesterday “immediately prohibited” the U.S. from enforcing the drilling moratorium, finding the offshore companies would otherwise incur “irreparable harm.”"
- Obama thought the Fifth Circuit would side with him on appeal, but they did not.
- ""We give deference, as you should, to what that court has done," Judge Smith said in reference to Feldman's ruling. Pointing out that the burden was on the government in the appeals process to prove that drilling would not cause irreparable injury, Smith – recalling that 27 of 29 deepwater rigs in the Gulf passed safety inspections after the disaster – called the government’s claims speculation.
9/1/10, Wall St. Journal, "Judge deals new blow to drilling moratorium," by S. Power
The judge said Obama mainly resubmitted the same inadequate documentation it did in the first case.