Small Business Group Applauds Court Lifting Offshore Ban

The following is a press release from SBE Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship.

Oakton, VA - The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) applauds a New Orleans federal judge for reining in the Obama administration's overreach on its moratorium on deepwater drilling.

"Judge Martin Feldman was correct in noting that the decision on the moratorium would be found 'arbitrary and capricious.' The President's decision was based either on dubious assumptions regarding all offshore deepwater drilling, or on misguided politics. Either way, the result was an overly broad and economically destructive case of misguided government action," said SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan. "I applaud the businesses that are challenging the Administration on its rash action. They are saving jobs and our free enterprise system from uninformed and impulsive government action."

Judge Feldman pointed out that the "court is unable to divine or fathom between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium." Regarding the impact on the economy, Judge Feldman wrote: "An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in the country."

Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council chief economist, said: "Judge Feldman is right on target. Small businesses are affected by the moratorium in both the short term, as the economic woes spread throughout the Gulf economy and over the longer haul if policy and the regulatory climate turn against offshore exploration and development. Such a path would translate into reduced domestic energy production and increased energy prices."

Kerrigan added: "Unfortunately, and once again, the Obama administration is revealing its relentless urge to over-regulate no matter what the circumstance or industry. For a President who constantly says he believes in free enterprise, there are very few policies and actions that back-up such declarations."