Hey, Remember When the Obama Admin Was Held in Contempt Over Drilling Moratorium?


Have gas prices gotten you down? Remember this story from February 2011 the next time you fill up at the pump. It won’t make you feel better, but it will give you something to think about.


Last year Eastern District of Louisiana Federal Judge Martin Feldman issued an injunction blocking the Obama administration’s drilling moratorium on operations in depths over 500 feet. The administration turned around and issued another moratorium, dismissing the judge’s injunction. In a decision filed earlier this week, Judge Feldman held the Department of Interior in contempt for “dismissive conduct.”  The judge said the following in his order:

There is, however, more to the story. The plaintiffs also stress that the government did not simply reimpose a blanket moratorium; rather, each step the government took following the Courts imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance: the government failed to seek a remand; it continually reaffirmed its intention and resolve to restore the moratorium; it even notified operators that though a preliminary injunction had issued, they could quickly expect a new moratorium. Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the reimposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt of this Court’s preliminary injunction Order. To the extent the plaintiff’s motion asserts civil contempt based on the government’s determined disregard of this Court’s Order of preliminary injunction, it is GRANTED.

Thomas Clements, whose business has been decimated by the actions of the administration, responded to this news in a statement.

Gulf Small Business Owner Reacts to Moratorium ‘Contempt’ Ruling
Federal judge’s ruling may not be enough to save struggling residents in the beleaguered region

BROUSSARD, LA – In response to U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman holding the Obama administration in contempt for imposing a second moratorium only four days after the court struck down the original one, local small business owner Thomas Clements made the following statement:

“Thousands of Louisianians like myself have known for months about the administration’s contempt for our livelihoods. Now, the courts have validated that sentiment.

“I’m happy to hear Judge Feldman is holding federal regulators accountable for the offshore drilling ban, since BP has shirked all monetary responsibility for the policy. Unfortunately, this ruling doesn’t offer help to small businesses suffering the moratorium’s economic fallout; which is help we need today.

“Judge Feldman tried to overturn the moratorium back in June, before this policy created the desperate economic circumstances we now face. The Obama Administration would’ve saved us a lot of trouble if they’d listened to his legal decision back then and avoided eliminating thousands of jobs and millions in earnings.”

Thomas Clements owns Oilfield CNC Machining, a small business in the Gulf region that provides specialty machine parts for drilling rigs. After the announcement of the moratorium, he saw all his orders cancelled. Since then, his annual revenue has declined by over $400,000, and he’s lost two employees. His BP claims for assistance have been denied twice because he was affected by the moratorium and not the actual oil in the water.

I’m sure the administration will just dig in their heels without giving a second thought to those hurt by the permatorium. They’re too busy exempting companies like General Electric from their disastrous greenhouse gas regulations.

My heart goes out to Mr. Clements, and the thousands of others who have lost their livelihoods due to the administration’s reckless decision to ban drilling. Now we have oil rigs moving to Egypt, and gas prices skyrocketing. Not to mention the lost revenue to the Treasury at a time when deficits and the national debt have reached historic proportions.

In addition, Robert Bluey reports that the administration is blocking 103 Gulf drilling permits. The federal government is losing about $3.7 million per day in revenue from the drilling royalties alone. That doesn’t include how many workers are idle and not paying federal income tax.