WASHINGTON — A federal judge Tuesday struck down President Barack Obama's six-month ban on new deepwater drilling, siding with oil companies that argued that it would harm their businesses, eliminate jobs and weaken the economies of Gulf Coast states.
While the White House said it would immediately appeal the decision, environmental groups launched a quicker salvo, publicizing financial disclosure forms that showed that the judge in the case, Martin Feldman of the U.S. District Court in New Orleans, owns or has owned shares in several oil and gas firms. According to Feldman's 2008 disclosures, he held up to $15,000 in Transocean, the owner of the ill-fated rig at a BP well that's pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Legal experts said the revelation of a potential conflict of interest would bolster the Obama administration's case, but appealing the decision puts the president at odds with many Gulf Coast residents, who rely on the deepwater oil industry for tens of thousands of jobs...
As opposed to the 50 million or so of other people who depend on a live Gulf for a livelihood.
One heard Diane Sawyer wringing her hands about this on the Disney News the other night. Think of little Timmy, who will not be able to race his yacht.