BP And The Rule Of Law

I wouldn’t know judge Feldman from a little green apple but he made a great and correct decision on the Gulf moratorium and it is a trumpet call for the rule of law to be restored.  The current gang in the white house has abused the rule of law with their “Chicago Way” at every turn since they invaded the white house.   The GM bailout and bogue Chapter 11 proceeding would stand at the top of the evidentiary list.  I have only been specializing in that work for 43 years so what would I know.  First, they send up that Rathman fellow who now is under all sorts of investigations for wrongdoing and he strong arms everyone with the explicit backing of the White House.   Government, Inc. had more conflicts of interests than can be counted since it was a major creditor both pre and post petition and then it was the owner of the Debtor.  Then it engaged in claims buying in the most flagrant manner.   It won that case because of the implied and express threats of the harm it could cause and would cause to anyone who opposed its position.  It was their way or no way.

That is only one of many examples of the abusing of the concept of the rule of the law in our country by this gang.   It is very important and instructive that our military who fight to defend our American way of life do not take an oath to the commander-in-chief when they are sworn in.  Many folks confuse or intentionally ignore this important fact.  It is the prime example of how much we regard the rule of law historically.  All our servicemen when they join up take an other to protect and defend the CONSTITUTION; they do not swear to defend or obey any particular person or office.   It is hard to imagine those who think the Tea Parties folks have it all wrong when the center piece of their movement is following the Constitution.

Under the concepts of law in our country it has been well established for decades that the standard to overturn any regulatory rule of a federal agency is very high.   The plaintiff is required to prove that the rule in question is arbitrary or capricious.   That is even higher than the standard of proof for the criminal cases where it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.    The Feds already had pages, thousands of them, in place regulating the oil industry drilling programs in the Gulf.  One accident occurs and then they decide to shut down an entire industry.  The fact that there was an accident is not proof that there will be another one.  Every human endeavor is subject to accident and you can bet you bottom dollar they will occur.  But that is completely different from proof of some specific procedure that is dangerous or equipment that is likely subject to failure.  You can have two events or facts that are true but unrelated.  That indeed is an old standard question from medical schools where you are given two sets of data that are both true and you are asked to say whether they are related or lead to a particular conclusion or that maybe they are unrelated.  The current accident in the Gulf is unrelated to the risk of a future leak.  Yes, they will be future accidents, there will be future earthquakes, train wrecks, crane collapses, plane crashes, and food poisonings, but we won’t shut down the various industries involved because of that.

The judge ruled that the existing rules were changed arbitrarily without regard to the actual risk presented.   He rightly discerned that the decision for the moratorium was political not regulatory.  The alleged commission  the gang has appointed will be a waste of time.  Since it is filled with environmentalists and academics you can be assured in advance what the outcome will be.  There is not a single person on that commission to examine the spill with real world experience in the oil and gas industry.   The judge found that simply because there was a problem with one well out of dozens that that was not proof of problems with the others there.  As a society we take risks every day to function.  We assume the food will be safe, the drugs will be safe, the planes will be safe and we certainly would not want those entire industries shut down due to one accident. 

Hopefully the Fifth Circuit will confirm the decision of judge Feldman and save thousands of jobs.  Lord knows we need every person we can get to have a job and these are good jobs doing work that is vital to our economic and industrial needs.  Maybe some day we will travel to work on our anti-gravity skyhook but until then we need the oil for another generation if we are to maintain our standard of living.  That moratorium will kill drilling in the Gulf likely forever because those rigs will go and the suppliers to them will shut down.  Your gas will cost 5 bucks a gallon for sure and hope you enjoy the brown outs coming.   Oil isn’t used for electric production but it is linked.  The Greens don’t like coal, the oil will be imported and they don’t seem willing to push natural gas so…..conclusion, less energy down the run.

Napoleon said that a commander could be excused for a mistake but never for being surprised.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com


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Filed under business, Economics, Environment, government, law

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