Fifth Circuit Joins Summer of Recovery by Preserving Gulf Jobs

By rejecting the Obama Administration’s blanket moratorium on deepwater drilling. From The New York Times, “Court Rejects Moratorium on Drilling in the Gulf“:

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Thursday turned down the Obama administration’s effort to enforce a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, ruled shortly after a hearing in a lawsuit filed by companies that claim they are being financially crippled by the suspension of drilling. ….

The appeals court found that the Interior Department failed to show the federal government would suffer “irreparable injury” if the moratorium is lifted while it appeals the trial court’s decision.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal responded in a statement:

“The federal government not being able to do its job is not a reason for thousands of Louisianians to lose their jobs. We’re pleased the court did not reinstate the moratorium. However, it’s clear from the ruling that this matter is not resolved and there remains uncertainty about the future of deepwater drilling and thousands of jobs in our state.

Yes, uncertainty. The Interior Department’s intention to continue this ill-considered, unnecessary moratorium tells business that any further commitments of dollars or personnel could be wasted, or at least be made less productive than originally budgeted for. Catherine Wannamaker, a lawyer for the anti-drilling, anti-jobs environmentalist groups supporting the Administration, says that uncertainty will discourage drilling even if oil activity is legally allowed: “The question is, practically speaking, will anybody do it given the uncertainty? It’s hard to know what will happen.”

Which leads David Freddoso of The Washington Examiner to comment:

Think of this situation as a microcosm of the economy under the Obama administration. Uncertainty reigns over a looming Obamacare, possible tax hikes under discussion, and future regulations and attempts to please trial lawyers. In some areas of contract law — including offshore oil leases — this administration has given businesses (and investors, such as the senior creditors of Chrysler) reasons to doubt whether the rule of law will be honored in future transactions.

The White House is promoting an economic Summer of Recovery. The trouble is, at the same time its policies — like the Interior Department’s pursuit of a drilling moratorium — are promoting a Summer of Uncertainty.

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