Injunction notes that Obama admin manipulated experts’ opinions in moratorium decision 

Judge Martin Feldman’s preliminary injunction against the deep-water drilling moratorium noted the dissents of experts who said that the Obama Administration “misrepresented” their opinions when the moratorium was announced.

Feldman notes that “[the experts] envisioned a more limited kind of moratorium, but a blanket moratorium was added after their final review, they complain, and was never agreed to by them.”

Speaking for himself and the seven other experts who disagree with the drilling moratorium, engineer Ken Arnold said that “We believe as a group that the moratorium as written and as being implemented today actually has the effect of decreasing safety.” The reason is that there are huge risks to shutting down deep-water wells that are

A ninth expert supports halting drilling, but only because she believes the Minerals Management Service is hopelessly incompetent.

From NPR:

YDSTIE: Lois Epstein is an engineer and oil and gas consultant in Alaska. She argues that it’s clear blowout preventers can malfunction and our spill-cleanup technologies are inadequate. That means regulations and regulators at the Minerals Management Service, or MMS, need to be tougher than they are now.

Ms. EPSTEIN: There’s a culture with MMS that safety is not uppermost. We need to transform MMS so that it is an agency that recognizes that production is part of its mission but it’s not its only mission.

YDSTIE: Epstein says that transformation will take at least six months, and until it’s accomplished, deep-water drilling in the Gulf will not be safe.

The administration’s decision, based as it was on expert testimony they stretched to the limit and misrepresented, is a pretty terrible case of political posturing. With due respect to Epstein’s opinion, perhaps private industry shouldn’t be asphyxiated just because government bureaucrats at MMS can’t get their act together.

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