Skip to comments.Obama Judge Rules Against Obama Agenda
Posted on 08/16/2011 8:53:42 AM PDT by Kaslin
What if you paid $38,000 to lease a house and were then told you cannot move in until some studies are done to determine if it is safe, but you do not get your money back? Years go by while the landlord is holding your money.
This is exactly what the Obama administration has been doing to the oil and gas industry since May of 2010. The same Obama who is crisscrossing the country touting fair.
On Friday, a US District Judge, appointed by Obama, decided that the administration wasnt playing fair.
In October 2010, the Western Energy Alliance (WEA), representing more than 400 independent natural gas and oil producers in the western states, filed a law suit against the federal government to force action on oil and gas leases that companies had already paid for. The leases had been purchased at Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease sales. But because of environmental protests and uncertainty over endangered species, the BLM has a backlog of leases needing additional examination.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 encouraged domestic energy development by allowing wells drilled from a site that had been used within the last five years, and already had a full environmental analysis, to proceed without repeating the expensive, time consuming, and redundant studies. Additionally, in areas with extensive energy developmentand therefore environmental impacts have been fully evaluated, permits could be expedited. Extraction and jobs could happen more quicklyhelping Americas debt.
In May/June 2010, in response to an environmentalist lawsuit, the BLM/Forest Service (FS) adopted new rules for interpreting the Energy Policy Act. The rules were aimed at slowing down development by increasing environmental oversight of drilling on federal lands.
The WEA lawsuit focused specifically on 118 leases for which companies had paid $4.5 millionan average of $38,000 per leasethough hundreds of leases and more than $100 million were impacted by Fridays decision.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled that the BLM and FS had failed to follow the correct procedures when they issued a memorandum and letter, respectively, changing the application of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The Obama administration sought to introduce a screening process would have increased environmental oversight. Turning down the administrations argument that the memorandum/letter were policy statements, Judge Freudenthal said, They are rules which bind the agency and impose or affect individual rights and dutiesas such, notifying the public and engaging in proper rule-making are required. She threw out the 2010 rewrite of Section 390 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and reinstated expedited oil and gas drilling.
The judges ruling, said Kathleen Sgamma, director of Government & Public Affairs for WEA, is a victory for responsible American energy development, and holds the promise of new jobs and economic growth.
The judges ruling was the second strike against the Obama administration in as many days. Just the day before, a three judge panelmade up of one Bush appointee and two Clinton appointeesstruck down Obamacare, ruling that Congress does not have the power to require all Americans to buy insurance.
Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman ruled that the Obama administration was acting in contempt, stating that regulators acted with determined disregard by lifting the offshore ban and then reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling.
Just last month, Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) begged the administration to allow our energy industry to get back to work.
In an economic crisis, with a president who has pivoted to jobs numerous times in the last year, his policies have turned even those within his own party against him. At long last the job destroying policies of the Obama administration and his czars is seen for what they areand they are not fair.
OK Mr. President. Lets be fair. Let the tenants move into the house theyve leased.
“The judges ruling was the second strike against the Obama administration in as many days.”
Some checks and balance working at last.
“The rules were aimed at slowing down development by increasing environmental oversight of drilling on federal lands.”
That sentence right there shows what is wrong with government environmental bureaucrats. They’re not trying to increase environmental oversight by slowing down development, they are trying to slow down development by increasing environmental oversight. They view development by humans as an evil to be obstructed, not a generally beneficial activity that may need some responsible oversight.