Today in BP Oil Disaster: Day 64

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  • Blocked: A federal judge today has ruled against a six-month deep-water oil drilling moratorium:

    Citing the economic harm to businesses and workers in the Gulf that the moratorium would cause, Judge Feldman — a 1983 appointee of former President Ronald Reagan — wrote that the Obama administration had failed to justify the need for the sweeping suspension, which he characterized as “generic, indeed punitive.”

    He wrote 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.”

    The White House will appeal.

  • This week, the Gambit commentary targets environmentally minded musicians who haven't made a peep about the disaster — "particularly from those who have in the past shouted their commitments to the environment, green causes and working people. Where are the Bonos and the Stings? Why have we heard not a word from the Springsteens and the Mellencamps, the platinum-selling artists who have been so generous in the past for so many other causes?"
    Well, we got on answer from at least one of those last night on Larry King's live, two-hour telethon, which reportedly raised $1.81 million for United Way, National Wildlife Federation or The Nature Conservancy. Here's Sting:

    And here's... uh... here's Justin Bieber:

    The oil disaster in the Gulf has been a big problem, but every little bit can help. there's no such thing as being too young to pitch in. ... This is urgent. What we do now can affect the future. ... You can donate money, or time, or anything, to the groups you heard about on this show. Check our Larry's website to find out details on what's going on, and how you can help. And if you're part of the Gulf, send in videos to YouTube, post things on Facebook, tweet, do whatever to let people know what's going on. Thanks for listening, and thanks for doing everything you do."

    A sincere "thank you" to all those who contributed. And we hope those celebrities who participated inspired their peers to put their names to good use for their neighbors, er, fellow Americans down south.

  • Last week, we posted a video of Venice, La., captain Mike Ellis, who reported BP cleanup crews burning oiled, endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles while still alive. Here's more on the story, and here's a petition to urge BP to stop.
  • It looks like BP beat CNN to the story — the oil giant reports, in its in-house magazine Planet BP, the good side of the disaster:

    “There is no reason to hate BP,” one local seafood entrepreneur is quoted as saying, as the region relies on the oil industry for work.

    Indeed, the April 20 spill on the Deepwater Horizon is being reinvented in Planet BP as a strike of luck.
    “Much of the region’s [nonfishing boat] businesses — particularly the hotels — have been prospering because so many people have come here from BP and other oil emergency response teams,” another report says. Indeed, one tourist official in a local town makes it clear that “BP has always been a very great partner of ours here…We have always valued the business that BP sent us.”

  • And if you Gambiteers haven't seen this, we're curious for your thoughts:
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