"Change oil in the Gulf every six months or 15,000 lies" – 5th Circuit panel rejects moratorium

Credit to Andy Borowitz for providing the post title, Fox 8 for the story and the 5th Circuit panel for the decision that brought Borowitz to mind:

A federal appeals court has rejected the U.S. government’s effort to keep a six-month deepwater drilling moratorium in place.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled soon after a Thursday afternoon hearing in a lawsuit filed by companies that oppose the drilling ban.

The Interior Department said the moratorium was necessary while it studied deepwater drilling risks in the wake of the BP oil spill…

The appeals court ruling found that the Interior Department failed to show the federal government would suffer “irreparable injury” if the ban isn’t restored while it appeals the lower court’s decision.

Law.com nailed it earlier today – 5th Circuit Judges in Drilling Moratorium Case Have Oil Ties, Report Says:

The administration likely wished for a three-judge panel without ties to the oil and gas industry. But such a panel can be hard to find at the 5th Circuit.

Just in time for the hearing in Hornbeck Offshore Services v. Salazar, the Alliance for Justice has issued a report highlighting the past work and present investments of 5th Circuit judges, including the three serving on today’s panel.

The report by the liberal advocacy group, titled “Judicial Gusher: The Fifth Circuit’s Ties to Oil,” adds up not only the circuit judges’ financial interests, but also the kinds of clients they represented in earlier private practice, their attendance at pro-business seminars and other connections.

Among its findings: Two judges on the panel, Jerry Smith and W. Eugene Davis, repeatedly represented the oil and gas industries while in private practice. Smith counted among his clients such big names as the companies now known as Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips Co. and Sunoco Inc. (Both men were appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan so these are not recent cases.)

In their 2008 financial disclosure reports, Davis listed $15,000 to $65,000 in investments in gas and oil, and Smith listed none.

The third judge on the panel, James Dennis, has extensive financial holdings in at least 18 companies in the energy industry worth between $15,000 and $300,000.

The Alliance for Justice report also points out that Dennis did not recuse himself from the attempted en banc rehearing of Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, a class action against energy companies alleging their emission of greenhouse gases “added to the effects of global warming so as to augment the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina” (to quote the alliance). So many judges did recuse that the appeals court found it lacked an en banc quorum, forcing it to reinstate a district court ruling that favored the oil industry.

According to the report, Smith and Davis have also attended one or more all-expense-paid seminars in Montana sponsored by the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE), a think tank that promotes solving environmental problems more through the market than through regulation and that has counted Exxon among its chief donors.

Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, said in a statement that her group was “alarmed by clear evidence that many judges in the Fifth Circuit are marinating in a pervasive oil culture, raising legitimate questions about potential bias, but also threatening to do great damage to the public’s perception of the courts as a haven of fair and impartial justice.”

FREE Director John Baden did not return calls for comment, and judges Smith, Davis and Dennis were not available for comment.

Anyone surprised!

6 thoughts on “"Change oil in the Gulf every six months or 15,000 lies" – 5th Circuit panel rejects moratorium”

  1. Gee, so I have a question: For those who believe that Feldman should have disqualified/recused “hissef” in the District Court (I being one), then what should Davis, Dennis and Smith have done?

  2. Great heading Nowdy even if it is borrowed

    Does it strike anyone else as odd that the Feds , who failed miserably in their obligations and duties to inspect and regulate the drilling rigs et al, and who are IMHO as culpable as BP in polluting our world, now want to ban drilling to give them time to do their job, which they failed to do previously? Thus exacerbating the negative impact on Gulf Coast citizens.

    IMHO they all should be charged with 11 counts of murder: they knew what their jobs were, they intentionally therefor refused to do their jobs in order to 1. Play while at work or 2. Receive things of value for not doing their jobs resulting directly in the deaths of those 11 men.

    ANYONE with a scintilla of knowledge of these crimes should be charged with being an accessory at the least. Conspiracy to committ murder may sound like a stretch but I am not sure the culpability doesn’t rise to even that level.

    Forget about not blaming , moving forward , being positive: nail these public and private sector bastards AND move forward positively. Our legal and penal system is based partially on the theory of deterrance : IMHO nailing the bastards would send a very loud message of deterrance to other government and big business murderers. IMHO.

  3. Wait! I’m confused. “Dennis the Dissenter” (he never met a Negro Democrat he didn’t like, no matter how incompetent or “left-leaning”) had “more” oil and gas financial holdings than Feldman and Davis combined? And he didn’t recuse himself (a habit he picked up in Comer v. Murphy, where he didn’t recuse himself, either). Where is the “Lame Stream Media” on demanding Dennis’ impeachment, like they are demanding Feldman’s impeachment? And shouldn’t Davis have recused “hissef” as well before “going against Obmmer” and the moritorium on deepwater drilling? Oh, this is so “confusing” because those darn people with oil and gas financial interests are so unpredictable. Thank goodness we still have “standards” like “black and white” to tell us what’s “good” and what’s “bad”.

  4. Ok I will admit I’m slow and no where near the rest of your calabier…but I’m watching the BP vid feed and they are grinding paint off the Pob….what am I missing… what good is that going to do other than give us something to watch?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *