From today’s WSJ editorial on the “new-old” Obama drilling moratorium:
When it comes to a showdown between jobs and ideology, the Obama Administration never fails to choose the latter. The latest example is Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision yesterday to reimpose a ban on Gulf drilling after the courts had declared his first moratorium illegal.
Federal Judge Martin Feldman in late June halted the Administration’s six-month deep water drilling moratorium, saying it was arbitrary, ignored science and underestimated the economic harm to the Gulf region. Last week the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban.
Mr. Salazar’s response is to fiddle with the ban’s details in the hope of passing judicial muster. Instead of banning all drilling deeper than 500 feet, he now bans all drilling by floating rigs (the only equipment that drills in deep water). He also set a firmer moratorium deadline of November 30. The bottom line is that deep water drilling remains off-limits for months to come.
Mr. Salazar hopes this ban will fly in the courts because he now has an “extensive record” showing that drilling “would pose a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to the marine, coastal and human environment.” None of that impressed Senator Mary Landrieu (D., La.), who slammed the new-old ban, pointing out that industry had safely drilled 42,000 other Gulf wells, making the BP spill the “exception.” She also noted that the ban threatened tens of thousands of Gulf jobs.
The rest here.