Judge Who Ruled on Deepwater Drilling Has Investments in Transocean

The US District Judge who today overturned President Obama’s   six-month moratorium on off-shore drilling appears to have substantial personal   investments in the oil and gas industry — and even owns stock in Transocean,   the company that owned the doomed Deepwater Horizon rig — according to his 2008   financial disclosure report, the most recent year available on the website of   the group Judicial Watch.

Judge Martin Feldman’s Financial Disclosure Report for   calendar year 2008 lists investments in energy and gas companies including   offshore drilling firm Transocean; Parker Drilling Company, which “provides   offshore and onshore contract drilling and drilling-related services”; and several different   funds managed by Blackrock, an investment banking firm with a heavy   concentration in the energy industry. In 2008, Judge Feldman sold, at a profit,   shares in Hercules Offshore, “a leading provider of offshore contract drilling,   liftboat and inland barge services with operations in ten countries on four   continents,” as well as Halliburton.

Environmental groups reacted with dismay to Judge Feldman’s   ruling while White House spokesman Robert Gibbs pledged that the Obama   administration would appeal the decision. Oil and gas companies, not   surprisingly, were thrilled with the Judge Feldman’s conclusion that “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.”

CNN reports that Transocean President Steve Newman said   Tuesday that he supported ending the moratorium. Given the fact that Transocean   will likely profit from the ruling, the judge’s investments represent a clear   conflict of interest in the case.

Justice served??

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