Sunday, June 27, 2010

Suborbital Crashes and Oil Spills

Last week a Federal Judge in Louisiana struck down the Obama Administration’s six-month moratorium on off-shore drilling. The President wanted the ban to give time for a blue-ribbon panel to study ways to increase drilling safety. The logic the Federal judge used to overturn the drilling ban gave me hope the space tourism industry can survive the inevitable crash and death of space flight participants. In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, said this:

"If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing.”
Although I have every confidence the Administration will appeal and may get the moratorium reinstated over the coming weeks, I was still impressed with the level-headed approach of Judge Feldman. If suborbital companies face legal battles due to tragic crashes, I hope their gavel man is another Judge Feldman.

1 comment:

  1. The Fifth Circuit is decidedly conservative, they gave us the Emerson ruling more than a decade before we finally got the SCOTUS to recognise our 2nd amendment rights in DC v Heller. Obama has little chance at the 5th Appellate Court. He will push it to the SCOTUS and will depend on either Stevens to pull one out of his pocket with the moderates or else leave it to Kagan, who will be junior justice and have little to no influence on the court being the youngest and least experienced.
    Smart money says that the 5th appeals court will drag the case out long enough for Kagan to be confirmed so that the liberals will no longer have a strong coalition building capability at SCOTUS.