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Court Puts a Stop to Drilling Ban

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Fear and hysteria can create opportunities and help accomplish political goals for those cynical enough to take advantage of them. Sometimes it takes the level head of an experienced jurist to resist the hype and emotion and remind everyone that we are a nation of laws and that rule by fiat is not acceptable.

We can thank U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman for being the voice of reason in the current crisis in the Gulf of Mexico and stepping in to block an arbitrary six-month ban on oil drilling in the Gulf at depths over 500ft. In his ruling Feldman wrote that even the current crisis "cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country."

Lawyers from the Department of the Interior and the Justice Department argued for the ban, but Feldman found no justification for "the immense scope of the moratorium and the economic harm which it would pile on top of the damage already being done by the oil spill.

The Obama administration will appeal the ruling despite objections from governors and legislators from both parties and all over the gulf region. Louisiana Senator David Vitter made the most telling point when he argued that the ruling was an important reminder that "the president's powers are certainly not unlimited and that this moratorium is wreaking havoc on jobs in Louisiana."

Meanwhile, a Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has introduced a bill granting a waiver to the Jones Act so that foreign companies can provide assistance in US territorial waters, and drilling continues on two relief wells designed to reduce oil flow at the Deepwater Horizon site so the well can be brought back under contrrol.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Scott


    I have been reading your arguments, you do realize that even if the moratorium affects only 33 wells, that up to 46,000 workers are still affected. Is 46K workers just a drop in the bucket? According to all the hype and media, they have already pinpointed the storm of events that caused the failure. If they know what went wrong, why is it going to take over 9 months for them to go over their procedures in the MMS?

    Only Republicans, right wingers and Libertarians drill, process and use oil, right? The only reason the judge ruled for business is because he had stock in oil related companies…right?
    It could NEVER have come about because of a President overstepping his authority….right?

  • Dan

    Glen, while it’s good that you now acknowledge 33 current wells and all the supporting services of regional gulf businesses that would be, and already have been affected, you should also understand that many more deep water wells would have come on line in 6 months. Instead the rigs costing up to a half million a day would have been moved out of the gulf well beyond the 6 month arbitrary naval gazing exercise.

    You should read the judges decision. the plaintiffs are all supporting business employing 11,875 people from the region. More than 150,000 others would be “directly” affected. A majority of the administrations hand picked experts were compelled to make a statement saying their findings were “misrepresented” by Obama’s interior Secretary.

    A better example of “blowing things WAY out of proportion just to score political points” would be this notion that a judges personal investment of 15000 measly dollars would be an ethical hurdle. I would think it would be hard to find a judge that did not have an investment in oil. A diverse portfolio always includes oil stocks. I own several mutual funds and they all include energy stocks related to oil.

    Why would anyone even think that his decision would be positive or negative for his stock. It’s ridiculous. If his decision moves his paltry 15k investment 3% he wins or loses 450 bucks. He probably pisses that away on golf in one weekend.

  • So, in Dave’s perfect world, we should turn all of our beaches into horozontal drilling oil rigs so we can reach out with our tendrils under the deep blue to suck out that golden crude.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    you’d have a point – except for the fact that the moratorium would leave over 3500 wells in operation. In fact, there are over four thousand offshore wells in American waters…and the moratorium would’ve covered exactly 33 of those wells.

    This is yet another example of the conservatives blowing things WAY out of proportion just to score political points.

  • As gasoline nears $3 per gallon again


    Here in California it’s been above $3 for over a year.

  • Dan

    “There’s nothing wrong with being wrong…unless you insist on remaining wrong when someone shows you your error.”—Glenn Contrarian

    That would have been a refreshing tact for you to take Glenn, when you found out that Obama’s idiotic moratorium would have shut down operations on 33 current drilling platforms.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Dave –

    This is one of those times when you should sit back and consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, on this particular issue you do not know whereof you speak.

    There’s nothing wrong with being wrong…unless you insist on remaining wrong when someone shows you your error.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Okay, Dave – ‘only’ 41 miles.

    Do you understand why SEVEN miles was hailed as a great achievement in directional drilling? Mostly because of the very same engineering issues I raised.

    I don’t know how much experience you have with piping…but I spent about eight years total in the engine room, and I DO know a bit about piping. You see, we used pipes anywhere from miniscule gage tubing all the way up to the injection system for the main condenser – which is about 4 feet wide IIRC.

    Again, you seemed to think it was a simple matter to extend from 7 miles to 41 miles – and you know what? It CAN be done…but the company doing the drilling and laying the piping is going to encounter the same challenges I listed above, and drilling the well would – repeat, would – become a money pit. They simply wouldn’t make enough money on it to justify the effort.

    But no drilling company would attempt this because their engineers already know all this, Dave.

    Your assumption that if we can do 7 miles, then 41 miles shouldn’t be too difficult…is like the gambler who won a thousand dollars and just knows that if he doubles down two or three more times, he can pay off the mortgage. Like your assumption, it’s possible…but extremely unlikely (and certainly economically unfeasible).

  • As gasoline nears $3 per gallon again, one must wonder if things would be different if every dollar spent in defending oil producers was paid through taxes and levies on petroleum. Gasoline is costing us about $15 per gallon, folks. We don’t see it at the pumps, but we’re feeling it in the economy. It’s time for TRUTH in taxation as well as representation. If a member of Congress has “incumbent” next to their name — they MUST go, period.

  • Again, all of our oil will make virtually no difference to us at the gas pump, regardless of whether it comes from standard on shore wells, shallow or deep water off shore wells, oil shale mining or whatever. All our oil will produce is larger profits for the oil companies and perhaps more permanantly damaging pollution to our land, our shorelines and our waterways. But who gives a shit when money is at stake?

    I’ve heard it said that the areas around where the Exxon Valdis spill took place still have oil seeping up through the sands.


  • Glenn, Deepwater Horizon is not 200 miles offshore or even 100 as you suggest. It’s only 41 miles offshore. And evidence suggests that the same oil deposits could be accessed much closer in to shore.

    The point is that there are other options available, but government policy has contributed to the introduction of greater risk, expense and difficulty. As someone pointed out earlier, if we were halfway sensible we’d be drilling for some of the enormous onshore oil deposits which are currently offlimits for entirely arbitrary reasons.


  • Dan

    I guess if the moratorium would’ve had such a negligable effect then the judge who decided against Obama needn’t have worried about his $15,000 investment.

    Reckon he’s both stupid and crooked?

  • The moratorium only affects 33 exploratory wells, and prevents new ones from being started. It’s not permanent, just 6 months.

    And there are over 3800 oil rigs in the Gulf. The president is not “shutting down an industry.” [Although the industry, in its greed and recklessness, is arguably shutting itself down.]

    The public supports the moratorium by a wide margin. Pro-corporate extremists have reacted predictably. They are dead wrong.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I’ve known about horizontal drilling for some time – but to drill a horizontal well seven miles (which is the current record holder) is one thing. Drilling a couple hundred miles horizontally is something else altogether. It’s not nearly so simple as you seem to think it is.

    First, there’s the matter of degree – 7 miles versus 200 miles. The cost of such a drilling effort would be prohibitive, and I strongly doubt you’ll find a single oil company that would even consider such a venture. Why? Contrary to what you claimed, horizontal drilling is MORE expensive than vertical drilling…although it is more efficient and can reach more oil. But most horizontal rigs are less than a mile long, and they’re already seen as more expensive. Why, then, would any Big Oil CEO in his right mind want to drill sideways for two hundred miles? Unless he wants the board of directors to show him the door, that is.

    And that’s not the only cost-related challenge: According to the Wiki (which referenced a different oil company’s site where I found the same quote verbatim), “for wells with an inclination of less than 40 degrees, tools to carry out adjustments or repair work can be lowered by gravity on cable into the hole. For higher inclinations (closer to the horizontal) , more expensive equipment has to be mobilized to push tools down the hole.

    If it’s more expensive to robotically (or hydraulically) push tools down a directional drilling site seven miles long, then how much more expensive would it be to push those same tools two hundred freaking miles? How would you power the robot? How are you going to extract that robot if (when) it breaks down? And if it’s done with hydraulic or electric lines, what happens when the lines break? You know, it’s not like just sending down a power cord or a hydraulic hose from the local Home Depot. And let’s not forget the fiber-optic line that MUST go with it. I remember the Charlie-Fox we had on the Lincoln when we wired it with fiber-optic cable – the electronics guys were time and time again summoned to replace broken (or simply cracked) fiber-optic lines.

    Feel free to go approach a horizontal drilling company with your idea, Dave…but don’t be real hopeful about their response. I know enough about engineering to have a clue about what their responses might be.

    Two hundred miles of fiber-optic lines and hydraulic or electric lines, Dave. All of it subject to wear-and-tear and lateral (length-wise) stress. There is one and only one flexible cord that would be strong enough to endure such a test for such a distance, and we haven’t even developed it yet, though we’re trying mightily. It’s a practical cord made of buckminsterfullerene (buckyballs), and I’m sure you’ve heard of it since that’s what our scientists hope to use to someday make a space elevator.

    Dave, drilling sideways for two hundred miles – or even one hundred miles – sounds nice in theory, but no engineer in his right mind would even consider it.

  • John Wilson

    Obama drove a smart hard bargain with the BP to get a $20billion+ ANTE from BP with the money to be disbursed by his appointee. Also $100million up front compensation for oil workers idled by the moratorium.

    Since oil is fungible and the markets are free and liquid, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that if the USA idled ALL it’s oil production (which is about 1/3 of it’s consumption) and maintained the same consumption (which is about 1/4 of world consumption) thus calculating that US production is about 1/12 or 8% of world oil production, assuming some symmetry of supply and demand curves around the equilibrium point, gas prices would go up about 8% or 24 cents per gallon for all consumers.

    24cents to end our environmental hazards. Pretty cheap.

  • Glenn, shall we just trade accusations, then? While I did read your link, you clearly didn’t even read my post. As has been amply documented, it is entirely possible for an on-shore well to reach not just deposits near the shore and shallow, but also to oil which is located miles offshore and miles deep, and to do so more safely and less expensively than deep water drilling.

    There’s a well in England which has a 7 mile horizontal reach. They could easily drill farther than that because horizontal drilling is far less difficult than vertical drilling.

    See this article.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    They say there’s enough oil under Montana to feed our need for oil for the next 2000 years! Why don’t we go after it? Same reason we don’t go after the oil off the coast of VA, because it might hurt some freaking tree frog somewhere!

    Instead of making assumptions that it’s us left-wing loonies that are stopping the extraction of oil from shale, how about actually RESEARCHING the problem?

    Oh – I forgot – conservatives don’t do that.

    So just to make it REAL easy for you, here’s a little research:

    “World production of oil shale reached a peak of 46 million tonnes in 1980. Due to competition from cheap conventional petroleum in the 1980s, several investments became economically unfeasible. On 2 May 1982, known as “Black Sunday”, Exxon canceled its US$5 billion Colony Shale Oil Project near Parachute, Colorado because of low oil-prices and increased expenses. Because of the losses in 1980s, companies were reluctant to make new invests in shale oil production.

    So do you get it now, Andy? BIG OIL CHOSE TO STOP SHALE OIL PRODUCTION BECAUSE IT WASN’T MAKING ENOUGH MONEY! We liberals had nothing to do with it.

    Now oil is finally expensive enough for shale oil production to be economically feasible…but it’s not the liberals you have to convince. It’s BIG OIL.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    They want that oil, but the fact is that they can access that same oil from wells drilled onshore if they were allowed to do so. This is what they have been doing in Alaska for years. You can drill onshore much more safely and have the pipe go underground for miles to reach offshore oil.

    No, they canNOT “get that same oil from wells drilled onshore”, Dave. It’s obvious you neither really read my comments nor checked my references, because if you did, you’d have seen that the MMS stated that the deposits in shallower waters were diminishing, and that much larger deposits were in DEEPER waters further out to sea. Big Oil has many, many drilling leases in shallow water…but that’s not where the oil is!

    Furthermore, they can’t get “that same oil” from onshore wells because – with the exception of national parks like ANWAR – they’d have to drill down and then sideways for a couple hundred miles or more…and Big Oil’s not even going to attempt to do that.

    Next time, please read my comments and references before you try to refute them.

  • THEY are likely wrong. But again, even if we drilled every pool of oil dry either on or off shore for the next 50 years, it would change nothing. We would still be dependent on oil, from whatever sources.

    All this crap about “American” oil is just that – crap. There will be no advantage to us as a nation by pumping what some estimate to be no more than 2% of the world’s oil reserves. The ONLY advantage is given to the oil companies.

    Where was all this righteous concern for workers when all you Cons berated Obama for TARP and the bail outs? It was you who clamored for letting the banks, the investment firms and the auto makers fail. How many workers might that have affected? But now you seem to have big crocodile tears for Gulf oil workers. Sure, they’re getting a raw deal, but there’s plenty of that to go around.


  • How come no one ever talks about why big oil is drilling so far off shore and so deep? How come no one ever talks about the massive amounts of oil underground in and around Montana?

    If you really want someone to blame for this besides Bush and Cheney, try looking at the environmentalists!

    They say there’s enough oil under Montana to feed our need for oil for the next 2000 years! Why don’t we go after it? Same reason we don’t go after the oil off the coast of VA, because it might hurt some freaking tree frog somewhere! Buncha BS if you ask me!

  • Silas, sounds like it’s time to pull out of Afghanistan and let the Japanese take over.


  • As has been pointed out, there is no “American” oil, there is just oil. It all goes to the same place and is purchased from the same place – worldwide. We would be in the same pickle whether we produced billions of barrels of oil or none.

    Amen. There is just OIL. And in the shadow of the Gulf disaster there is something brewing in Afghanistan – lithium, gold and other mineral deposits. Karzai has committed his country’s natural resources to Japan. Japan will contract Chinese corporations to excavate. Asia will develop automobiles using lithium-powered batteries for fuel. The handwriting is on the wall. Our failure to develop alternatives to oil has set the stage for the decline and fall of the United States. Count on it.

  • So tell me now, you two – is Big Oil drilling in deep water because we’re forcing them out there? Or because they CHOSE to, because they WANT to?

    They want that oil, but the fact is that they can access that same oil from wells drilled onshore if they were allowed to do so. This is what they have been doing in Alaska for years. You can drill onshore much more safely and have the pipe go underground for miles to reach offshore oil.


  • The moratorium was designed to allow for inspections and to assure that proper procedures are being followed at ALL drilling sites.

    As to the likelihood of another blow out, no doubt that its a slim chance. But then, BP rated the possibility of such a disaster as slim and none. The ill effects of this spill are almost to the level of a nuclear explosion except for the massive deaths. All it’s taken is one incident.

    I think it just pisses people off that this edict came from Obama. Had no moratorium been announced, the same people would have criticized him for that.

    While I understand how difficult this is for many people along the Gulf, to keep drilling these deep water wells without at least a pause to try to make sure things are being done properly, is madness. Given the circumstances, Obama had every right to do as he did. Such actions by a president are not without precedent.

    The painfully obvious fact is that no one, not the oil companies, not the drilling companies, not the government have any idea how to stop this blow out. Do we really want to head on down that road without some assurances that it won’t happen again, and more importantly, that the oil companies are forced to develop the technology and procedures to plug these things up in the event of a recurrence.

    Personally, I think all off shore drilling should be stopped. Permanently. Our energy problems do not stem from dependence upon foreign oil. Our energy problems stem from our dependence on OIL. Period. As has been pointed out, there is no “American” oil, there is just oil. It all goes to the same place and is purchased from the same place – worldwide. We would be in the same pickle whether we produced billions of barrels of oil or none.

    Baritone and NOT Baronius

  • zingzing

    i’m surprised the judge went through with this knowing what kind of shit he’d get himself into. seems incredibly foolish. judges should be better at this judgment thing.

    i have to make a comment about how arbitrary the whole conservative/liberal divide is. one wouldn’t think that crude oil leaking onto conservative coasts wouldn’t make the conservatives say “more! more!” as they say “me! me!” but that’s the way of the world, i guess…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave and Dan –

    WHY is Big Oil drilling in deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico? It’s not because they don’t have active leases in shallow water, as the map I linked to in my previous comment makes clear.

    THIS, sirs, is why:

    “In a 2004 report — titled Deep Water: Where the Energy Is — the MMS stated that “our best source of new domestic energy resources lies in the deep water Gulf of Mexico and other frontier areas.” MMS reported that due to “declining production” in “near-shore, shallow waters” in the Gulf of Mexico, “energy companies have focused their attention on oil and gas resources in water depths of 1,000 feet and beyond.” MMS estimated that “the deep water regions of the Gulf of Mexico may contain 56 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or enough to meet U.S. demand for 7-1/2 years at current rates.”

    So tell me now, you two – is Big Oil drilling in deep water because we’re forcing them out there? Or because they CHOSE to, because they WANT to?

    (How much ya wanna bet neither of you will deign to answer that question?)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    A moratorium isn’t going to make drilling at those depths any safer. What would make it safer is lifting some of the restrictions on drilling at lesser depths.

    Then by your logic, when there’s a plane crash, there shouldn’t be a moratorium on flying that model of plane even when there’s a possibility of a design flaw…especially when said design flaw – the lack of an acoustic valve IIRC – would apply to deep AND shallow drilling sites.

    FYI, the worst oil spill ever – Ixtoc I – was at a depth of about ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FEET. So please don’t give me the line about the problem being that Big Oil’s being driven out to deep water.

    WORST OF ALL, your right-wing pundits have you bamboozled, Dave. Why don’t you look at this PDF map of active leases in the Gulf of Mexico and see for yourself if Big Oil’s being forced out to the deep water…or if they’re just feeding you a line!

  • Jordan Richardson

    Amazing that this is passed off as a “news” flash.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan – yes, ANY investment by a judge in a company on which he’s rending judgement IS grounds for recusal. Any lawyer will tell you the same thing.

    This is known as ETHICS…which, like fact-checking, is not real high on the conservative list of priorities.

  • Well, trust me, Silas, the twenty-billion dollar fund is going to be depleted.

    It’s awfully nice hearing people you’re talking about standing on their principles. I haven’t the idea that many Americans still had any principles left, especially during hardship.

  • Actually, Roger, that’s where you’re wrong. Most of these folks don’t want a dime from BP unless it is for an honest day’s work. They want to have a life and continue doing that which they know best.

    One fisherman waited until the last possible minute before he decided to open a claim. These people don’t want handouts. They hate what’s happening and feel like they’re choking. And as far as oil workers are concerned, they’d rather drill and clean up the mess than sit at home and collect an unemployment check where they may be subject to Orrin Hatch’s drug tests.

    Of course, you have those who will have their hand out for a free check. That’s to be expected. In the aftermath of Katrina these people have come to know self reliance. It’s a bit of insanity, a bit of perversity and a whole lot of necessity. I’ve made my mind up because I have a heart. I hate the choice but see no other moral alternative in light of a vacuum in leadership. That’s where it is at, Roger. The President is overwhelmed. The Congress is catatonic. BP and the petroleum world wish this would all go away and know it won’t. We have radical decisions to make, Roger. There’s no magic pill, just hard work and determination. And that’s another vacuum thanks to the right wing corporatists and the left wing beneficiaries of their free flowing cash.

  • Dan

    sorry glenn, the moratorium would have halted work at 33 current exploratory drilling platforms, each costing hundreds of thousands a day to lease. But that is just for starters.

    Also, I think it is your research that lacks merit. You seriously think a 2008 disclosure of a paltry 15k investment in Transocean is grounds for recusal? If so, you have worse problems than simple fact checking.

  • Glenn, lots of people own stock in oil related companies. I think if you want to point a finger you could find something in just about any judge’s portfolio which would make him suspect. I don’t own as much stock as this judge probably does and I own stock in a drilling company, a natural gas company and a couple of utilities, all of which could be the basis for the kind of smear you like to pull out. And do I even need to point out that BP was a major Obama campaign contributor?

    Silas, the 9/11 goodwill died when the left went after Bush and then died a final death when Obama decided that one party rule with zero input from the other side was a great idea.

    Aside from that, I can be fair. The creation of the $20 billion fund from BP was a good idea and seems to have been well executed and done the right way by getting them to take the action voluntarily. And the national and local governments seem to be responding to the crisis effectively. And I assume they will appropriately punish the people at the MMS who are largely responsible for the negligent oversight which contributed to this.

    But the moratorium was going too far. What happened in the gulf was an unusual and not likely to be repeated event and not reason to delay other drilling. It was a preventable accident and you can bet that anyone drilling in the future will make sure it doesn’t happen again. A moratorium isn’t going to make drilling at those depths any safer. What would make it safer is lifting some of the restrictions on drilling at lesser depths.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    If Obama had gotten his way, the economic impact would have been as negative as the impact from the spill. Who would’ve been demonized for it?

    That’s a falsehood fed to you by the right wing. Why? Because the moratorium is on DRILLING NEW WELLS, not PUMPING at the scores upon scores of wells already dug and in operation. But since it was something against Obama, well, that meant it must be true, huh?

    Next time, Dan, try doing a little fact-checking – which is not something that most conservatives are very practiced at doing.

  • “Roger, I’ve talked to almost two dozen different people in that region. They come from all bands of the political spectrum. And only one of them advocates this moratorium.”

    By your own testimony, Silas, these people are schizophrenic. They want to collect from BP for damages while urging for more drilling. So it’s either sheer insanity or pure perversity, take your pick.

    I’m sure glad you’re making up your mind on the basis of such crazies.

  • Dan

    If Obama had gotten his way, the economic impact would have been as negative as the impact from the spill. Who would’ve been demonized for it?

    Next up, Obama’s ugly racist challenge to Arizona’s rightous illegal immigration law.

  • “the president’s powers are certainly not unlimited and that this moratorium is wreaking havoc on jobs in Louisiana.”

    How soon we forget the real havoc on the people and life in Louisiana, still unfolding, there being no end in sight!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Of course, the judge having stock in a oil drilling company didn’t have anything to do with it…and there was no reason for the judge to recuse himself because of conflict of interest…of course not!

  • Perhaps, you’re right, Dave. It’s become a very emotional issue for me after talking to so many people. Some of these folks are my friends, my family, business acquaintances. I’m torn on the issue and that leads to frustration because I see no leadership from anyone. Are we so polarized as a nation that there is just no hope for a reasonable compromise? Was all that goodwill on 9/11 a lie? Did we all just suppress our division in the illusion of patriotism? And would we have been as united back then had Al Gore been President?

    Dave, you’re a brilliant and reasonable guy. Can you understand where I’m coming from? You’re a Conservative and I know that you’re thought processes are not in tandem with those who have lynched the GOP and Libertarians. Just what can we do to start making some changes? Time is of the essence. And it seems to me that as the oil spills into the Gulf the only thing politicians are doing is posturing. We don’t have time for political maneuvering. Doesn’t ANYBODY get it?

  • I find a different flaw in Silas’ reasoning. I see no logical argument that the GOP would have argued “judicial activism” had this gone the other way. They would have focused the blame on Obama.

    But it’s important to note that this is such a cut and dried issue that no court would have uphild the moratorium. This will go on, and may make it to the Supreme Court, but there’s no way the President has the authority to shut down an entire industry without some sort of legislation to back him up.


  • Mark

    God told me that this is our fuck-up and to leave Himself out of it.

  • Not necessarily, Roger. Once again, Barack Obama has missed an opportunity. I’m not advocating selling our souls, what I am advocating is taking a reasoned approach to the situation.

    Roger, I’ve talked to almost two dozen different people in that region. They come from all bands of the political spectrum. And only one of them advocates this moratorium. Those who do not live in that region have no clue what they’ve been through. I was all for the moratorium until I got my facts from the people directly affected.

    I don’t want to prolong the agony — I want somebody to do SOMETHING. With the great, creative minds we have in this country and around the world you cannot tell me that this is a problem without solution. I refuse to accept that notion.

    A former member of MIT faculty pointed me to a very interesting article concerning a potential cataclysm in the Gulf. I brought this article to the attention of several of those I mentioned previously. Much to my surprise, they all were aware of the potential yet they feel in the short term, they have no choice but move forward.

    It’s not that I advocate a recipe for slow death. Quite the contrary. I think it is going to take a cataclysm of Divine proportions for American politicians to get their heads out of K Street’s ass. And, if that’s what it takes, let the Hand of God cast forth the misery.

  • “I have to say that I agree with the court’s ruling. And it’s purely for economic reasons.”

    Again, Silas, faulty reasoning. So we should sell our souls to the devil for “purely economic reasons,” you seem to be saying. But why, I ask, prolong the inevitable? The sooner the ship sinks, I’d say the better. Only then we shall be able to rebuild, not before. But you, it seems, want to prolong the agony. “Let us all die a slow death,” is your recipe.

  • I have to say that I agree with the court’s ruling. And it’s purely for economic reasons. This moratorium is devastating to families on the Gulf. The problem I have with the ruling is had it gone the other way the GOP and every anti-Obama idiot in the nation would be screaming judicial activism. There’s no balance.

    Richard Nixon was elected in 1968. We’ve known that our dependence on petroleum was an issue since the early 70’s. And here we are again, wailing about oil. Democrats and Republicans have been in power and neither party has refused petro-political dollars.

    And here’s the kicker. Afghanistan sits atop what could be trillions of dollars in lithium. What’s the next fuel of choice for automobiles? And who is getting first rights to Afghan minerals? Japan didn’t lose World War 2, my friends, they’re getting back at us for Nagasaki and Hiroshima the old fashioned way — through our wallets.