Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater oil drilling after a federal judge struck down the existing one.
Salazar said in a statement Tuesday that the new order will contain additional information making clear why the six-month drilling pause was necessary in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. The judge in New Orleans who struck down the moratorium earlier Tuesday complained there was insufficient justification for it.
"The decision to impose a moratorium on deepwater drilling was and is the right decision," Salazar said, adding that the moratorium is needed to protect the communities and the environment of the Gulf Coast that the Justice Department is appealing Tuesday's court ruling.
"We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP's well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling," Salazar continued. "That evidence mounts as BP continues to be unable to stop its blowout, notwithstanding the huge efforts and help from the federal scientific team and most major oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico."
The only thing stranger to me than Salazars actions, is the fact that the president is allowing him to do it and comment directly in the press about it. For those who may remember, After the initial moratorium was issued, the scientist involved in the consultation came out a couple of weeks later and challenged the use of their names to support the decision.
In essence they said that the use of their names to support the president's conclusions was false and not what they recommended. At that time, Salazar had his first Alexander Haig moment, when he responded by telling the media that he had made the decision to impose the moratorium, only adding after the fact that the president had been involved in the decision.
Now? It appears Salazar is operating independently of the White House concerning this new moratorium order designed to circumvent the judges order on the first one. And apparently? President Obama is either completely consumed by his crisis with General McChrystal? Or he has simply ceded decision and policy making concerning the gulf and oil exploration to Secretary Salazar.
Either way, the actions of the White House this week speaks volumes to the amateurish and sophomoric realities of this presidency.