Judge Marty Feldman Rules On Oil Moratorium (Update)

Judge Marty’s investment hump is showing

Yesterday, US District Court Judge Martin “Marty” Feldman issued a preliminary injunction against  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar‘s drilling moratorium against 33 deep water exploratory wells in the Gulf of Mexico. A moratorium that effects less than 1% of the producing wells in the GOM, obviously a blow to local businesses of epic proportions.

Over at The Lake, bmaz offers an analysis of Feldman’s 22 page ruling, calling it “curious.” Literal money quotes:

So, in short, Feldman correctly sets the standards he must follow in his review, and then blows by and around every one of them. Feldman in one breath, and out of one side of his mouth says “the Court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the agency” and then in the next breath, and talking out the other side of his mouth does just that. Feldman may not agree with the basis for the administrative action here, he may not like it, but it is simply unfathomable that he can say there is no supporting evidence whatsoever such that there is no “rational connection” of the agency decision to the facts. It is simply absurd.

So, and I really do not like asking or suggesting these kind of questions, ever, but here it has to be done. What else could have been behind this bunk decision? Well, for one, Judge Feldman’s disclosures indicate he is invested in and tied to Transocean and Ocean Energy concerns, among others, which certainly ought to raise a red flag.

Or at least a big hump. Those “among others” companies that Feldman, a Reagan appointee,  has been invested in include the following (as compiled by Thinkprogress.org):

BlackRock ($12000- $36000)
Ocean Energy ($1000 – $2500)
NGP Capital Resources ($1000 – $2500)
Quicksilver Resources ($5000 – $15000)
Hercules Offshore ($6000 – $17500)
Provident Energy
Peabody Energy
PenGrowth Energy
Atlas Energy Resources
Parker Drilling
TXCO Resources
EV Energy Partners
Rowan Companies
BPZ Resources
El Paso Corp
Chesapeake Energy
ATP Oil & Gas

To quote Judge Feldman’s alter ego IgorHump? What hump?

bmaz offers a second disturbing (political) possibility concerning the sincerity of the Obama Administration’s objection to the ruling, but we need not go there at the moment. Pending is a couple of actions that the Administration is said to be mounting:  a new order being written by Salazar that addresses the specifics of Feldman’s objections; and an appeal of the ruling to the Fifth District Appellate Court (itself awash in oil money).

Stay tuned.

UPDATE:  Meanwhile, the psychological toll of BP’s criminality is starting to manifest itself.

‘Despondent’ Boat Captain Hired by BP for Gulf Cleanup Commits Suicide

“I hate to say it, but I’m surprised something like this hasn’t already happened.” This, tragically, was the death by suicide of a charter boat captain hired by BP to take part in oil leak cleanup or protection efforts in the gulf.

The quote comes from Jason Bell, who worked for William Allen “Rookie” Kruse, 55, for three years as a deckhand and pilot. Kruse put a bullet [1] through his head this morning at a marina in Fort Morgan, Alabama. His boat was about to launch today and he was reportedly upset with the oil leak, the cleanup efforts and loss of income, and wondering how he would be paid for taking part in the Vessel of Opportunity program.

The local coroner ruled that the gunshot was self-inflicted. Kruse was found right on the captain’s bridge. He had no known health problems.



  1. Avatar Seeing Eye Chick

    Yea they really tried to play that hump down on NPR, as if *THAT was going to work for anyone but a glenn beck fan.

    Fucking sad turn of events.

    So are they putting safety gear on the cleanup crews yet or is BP still exposing them all to carcinogenic crude and dispersants in excessive heat, filled with the burned remains of particulate petroleum matter?

    And are they still seizing cameras and camera phones?

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