Judge Who Overturned Drilling Ban Held Oil Stocks Back in 2008, So What??

Static Chaos's picture

By Static Chaos

The ink of the ruling against the offshore drilling moratorium is not even dry yet, the media is already jumping all over that Judge Martin Feldman is "greased with oil investments", says Mr. Christopher Helman, an Associate Editor of Forbes.

A "blog" at Forbes penned by Helman cited the NewsWatch Energy blog at Houston Chronicle that

"Judge Martin Feldman.....has owned stock in more than a dozen oil and gas companies, including two involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster: Transocean and Halliburton. Feldman's 2008 financial disclosure report shows investments in gulf players Hercules Offshore, ATP Oil & Gas, Rowan Companies and Parker Drilling."

However, Helman forgot or chose to omit one pretty important paragraph from the same Houston Chronicle post:

"Some of those stocks were sold during the reporting period."

Furthermore, according to the "Update" section by Mr. Tom Fowler, author of the same post at Houston Chronicle:

"Some environmental groups are already releasing statements noting what appears to be a conflict of interest on the part of Judge Feldman.... However, a lawyer with non-profit public interest law firm Earthjustice told the Chronicle..that the organization did not ask for a recusal, nor did the issue ever come up."

So, in layman's term --NO, there's no evidence that Feldman still had those said stocks at the end of 2008, nor that he still holds them during the period of the moratorium hearing.  And...YES, the environmental groups would love nothing more than to see Feldman recused on conflict, but were unable to raise it as a cause.  

This renders the Forbes "blog" pretty much irrelevant in what appears to be an attempt linking conflict of interest to a federal judge, who happened to have ruled against the drilling moratorium on legal and constitutional ground. 

In any case, even if this allegation were legit, it would have paled in comparison to the blatant conflict of interest by Matt Simmons' TV sensationalism.

Well, this is just one example of the sad but real picture of what has become of today's headline-chasing media and the so-called journalism.

Or could it be that since more and more reporters are becoming "bloggers" to drive web traffic, but still with the legal protection (i.e. indemnified) by their major media employers, this is a conspiracy to discredit the real blogosphere, who's driving them out of business?  Just one theory....  

By Static Chaos  

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williambanzai7's picture

It is apparent that we have a flawed system of oversight and this in and of itself presents a clear and present danger justifying the moratorium.

Catullus's picture

The logic doesn't hold.  There was a car accident in front of my apartment 2 weeks ago in which one person was killed. Should we place a moratorium on driving? It obviously represents a clear and present danger to person and property.  In fact, it's the number 1 killer of teenagers. 

Dr. Sandi's picture

Makes sense to me. Let's get the damned teens off the road now.

The world, though, isn't black and white and hasn't been since the advent of color TV in the mid 60s.

The question I have is how many more rigs have the same level of faulty equipment that received the same shoddy inspection as the Deepshit Whoreizin'. It surely would be fine to stop pumping long enough to do the inspections with actual inspectors, assuming there are actually any available.

Since it appears that the biggest enemy of inspections and preventive maintenance on these pigs is the lost pumping time while the work is done, this is the perfect opportunity for all of these money grubbing bastards to pull some inspections and PM on their multi-million dollar investments.

Inspect and maintain your means of production. What a radical concept! Straight out of the 50s when there was a long term game plan at successful companies who made their money through production rather than moving paper. A time when you knew you were going to answer for your screw-ups because you'd still be working there 5 years later.


Dr. Sandi's picture

The lawn chair that is the federal oversight system got broken when an elephant parked its fat ass on it a couple of decades back.

weinerdog43's picture

+1 for the excellent mental image.  Thanks!

weinerdog43's picture

Look, the reason the lots of intelligent people think judge Feldman is a typical Republican appointed hack is because of his logic in ruling against the injunction.  The opinion states:  "The blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drilling new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger.” 

As others have already pointed out, this is pitiful reasoning.  "...imagine if this logic were applied to the war on drugs…you can’t declare a drug addictive, because people have gotten addicted. you have to show that everyone who uses the drug in question, becomes addicted…."  So while you have something of a point regarding his current oil industry holdings, make no mistake:  judges have biases too.  After a f*ckup of historic proportions by BP, I'm not going to be impressed if the oil bidness takes a slap on the wrist like a 6 month moratorium. 

Dr. Sandi's picture

Okay, the logic holds true, to a point.

But you don't need ALL offshore oil wells to leak to make this a hellish mess. Just ONE seems to be doing a fine job all on its lonesome.

Maybe nobody would notice a second or third spew. In fact, maybe we haven't...


weinerdog43's picture

The thing that cheeses me off about this entire mess is that after all is said, we'll find a litany of screwups from soup to nuts from not only the oil companies, but also the government regulators who are supposed to be watching out for us, you know, the people.  In the end, it will be all of us who somehow end up holding the bag.  People voted for 'change', and instead we've got the 10th year of Bush.  Depressing.

UncleFurker's picture

> People voted for 'change', and instead we've got the 10th year of Bush.


You have to realise that while if office one of the major works of the Team Bush was to fill all the regulatory agencies with Christian Fundamentalists and Bush Team Players. Unfortunately, once they've burrowed down and started screwing up the country, you can't just fire them because they're not political appointees.


It's going to take years to smoke all those fuckers out.


weinerdog43's picture

"It's going to take years to smoke all those fuckers out."

Absolutely true, if we are interested in doing so.  So far, this administration seems perfectly content to follow in Bush's footsteps.  I suppose the biggest difference is that while the 'pubs want to drive the country off the cliff at 100mph, the dems are ok with merely throttling back to 75mph. 


Cursive's picture

And Obama's mentor was an out-and-out Communist who prayed for the overthrow of our democracy.  And Obama's SCOTUS nominee was a paid member of Goldman's Research Advisory Council.  Everybody's got a little shit on their doorstep.

Catullus's picture

Like the immortal "Some people are concerned that..."