Martin Feldman, the Louisiana federal district judge whose actions yesterday resulted in lifting President Obama’s deepwater drilling moratorium, is oil-soaked.
The man owns stock in Transocean, the offshore drilling company that owned Deepwater Horizon before it exploded and sank to the bottom of the Gulf taking with it 11 Transocean employees.
The man did own stock in Halliburton before he sold it in March.
But he also owns stock in Parker Drilling Company, Prospect Energy Corp., Atlas Energy Resources, LLC, and Hercules Offshore.
In short, this federal judge, a darling of the American Petroleum Institute, it is said, has a vested interest in seeing that deepwater drilling be restored and full speed ahead.
I don’t find it amazing that this federal judge, nominated to his current position in 1983 by Ronald Reagan, has a bias toward the oil industry. That is a given. What I do find amazing is the fact that this judge is so transparently biased because he has a personal vested interest in the case.
A case where any judge so heavily invested in the oil industry should have recused himself.
In his ruling, the judge wrote this:
“If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy handed and rather overbearing.”
So the judge conveniently missed the point, didn’t he? No one is saying that all drilling equipment is flawed. The point to the drilling moratorium was to halt drilling in a part of the ocean where there remain questions about what must deepwater drillers do in order to prevent another blow out from happening – because it has become obvious to anyone, anyone who doesn’t have a vested interest in oil and gas that is, that the oil and gas industry is utterly clueless in how to deal with this disaster.