The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Ruling on Moratorium Expected Soon

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted June 22, 2010

U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman says he will rule on the deepwater drilling moratorium by noon tomorrow.

In suits filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services and Diamond Offshore, federal courts are being asked to issue temporary restraining orders that would end the freeze on deepwater drilling. Diamond says the moratorium amounts to an illegal "taking," and Gov. Bobby Jindal, who filed a brief in the Hornbeck case, says the rights of the Gulf Coast states were ignored when the moratorium was imposed. (The Washington Post)

The moratorium also has been the topic of conversation on several notable blogs.

James Shott at Observations (June 15) believes the administration went too far in imposing the moratorium:

"President Barack Obama's rash decision to stop all drilling in the Gulf and other off shore locations presents more serious problems. The president wants to insure there isn't another accident like this, but he should know that as bad as this one is, it's the first significant deep water accident in 40 years. He over-reacted."

Geoff Styles at Energy Outlook (June 17) points to the impact of the moratorium on U.S. energy security:

"Unfortunately, the freeze will inevitably increase our reliance on imported oil, because as much as we recognize the need to move in the direction of renewable energy and other alternatives, there is currently no other meaningful substitute for the oil that we now get from deepwater, unless we are willing to consider the risk tradeoffs involved in targeting new domestic oil production on onshore and shallow-water resources that are presently off-limits, such as those in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

Merv Benson at the Prairie Pundit questions the apparent contradiction between imposing a moratorium and allowing two relief wells to be drilled:

"The relief wells point out the silliness of the moratorium. If the leak can be solved with relief wells, why isn't it safe to drill other wells? Why does the moratorium not include the relief wells. Aren't they in deep water? We should not allow this anti energy administration to use the Gulf blowout as an excuse to limit offshore production of oil and gas."

The Bear at The Absurd Report (June 20) takes the administration to task for its overall spill response:

"President Obama says he's trying to figure out "whose ass to kick" over the Gulf oil spill and cleanup. He might want to start with his own regulators, advisors and congressional allies, who are leading him and our country over an energy and economic cliff."

We've addressed the moratorium's impact on jobs and energy supplies previously on this blog. There's no doubt that the moratorium threatens the livelihoods of thousands of energy workers and their families in the Gulf of Mexico.