On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appears for the 5th Circuit of New Orleans will host the next installment of Offshore Drilling Theatre.
The Obama administration will make its case that a moratorium on oil production on 33 vessels should not have been overturned. The opposing argument will come from Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc., a company that will try to reiterate a federal judge’s decision that the ban is arbitrary and unfair. All of this will be argued during a rare hour-long window on Thursday at 3 p.m. Presiding over this show will be three judges — two Reagan appointees and a Clinton appointee.
However the majority rules on Thursday, it will be of little consequence. Is the oil spill going to end tomorrow? No. Will people be able to go back to working on rigs tomorrow? No.
Reuters reported that resuming drilling operations could take months. And whatever happens in court, each side is likely to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if they don't like Thursday's ruling. Large companies like Shell have already said they would wait until a final decision is made before resuming drilling. Thursday’s decision will decide who appeals what, and to whom. It won’t stop the leak. It won’t put workers back on rigs.
Enjoy the show.