A New Orleans federal judge lifted the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed by President Barack Obama following the largest oil spill in U.S. history.Obama temporarily halted all drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet on May 27 to give a presidential commission time to study improvements in the safety of offshore operations. Government lawyers told U.S. District Judge Martin Feldmanthat the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast in April was a “game changer’’ that exposed the risks of offshore oil exploration.“We need to make sure deepwater drilling is as safe as we thought it was the day before this incident,’’ Brian Collins, a lawyer for the government, told Feldman in a court hearing June 21. “It is crucial to take the time because to fail to do so would be to gamble with the long-term future of this region.’’
More than a dozen Louisiana offshore service and supply companies sued U.S. regulators to lift the ban. State officials claim 20,000 Louisiana jobs are in jeopardy if the deepwater drilling suspension lasts 18 months.
Governor Bobby Jindal asked the judge to lift the ban because it was costing people their livelihoods, and the judge agreed that with the Louisiana Governor. Many wondered why the moratorium was even still in place after all of this time:
Lawyers for the drilling companies told Feldman the moratorium illegally sidesteps a required industry comment period. They also said regulators failed to tell Obama that all active deepwater rigs passed an immediate re-inspection after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, with only two rigs reporting minor violations and the rest getting approval to continue operations.
If all of the other drilling platforms passed the inspections that the government put them through, why were they closed down for so long? There is no logical reason for it. It'll cost thousands of people their jobs, take millions of dollars out of the Gulf's economy, and eventually raise gas prices on all of us. The longer they're not working the worse that'll be. Could it be that he's following Rahmbo's advice and not wasting a crisis.
Obama implied in his televised Oval Office telecast that he wants to use this issue to push his green agenda.