Judge Who Blocked Drill Ban Has Gulf Oil Investments

Environmentalists protest 'flagrant conflict of interest'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2010 5:32 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2010 7:50 AM CDT
This undated photo provided by the office of US District Judge Martin L. C. Feldman shows Judge Feldman.   (AP Photo/Office of U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman)

(Newser) – The Louisiana judge who struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has extensive investments in the oil and gas industry. US District Judge Martin Feldman, a 1983 Reagan appointee, in 2008 reported owning less than $15,000 in stock in Transocean, the company that owned the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Feldman's 2008 financial disclosure report, the most recent available, also showed investments in Ocean Energy, a Houston-based company, as well as Quicksilver Resources, Prospect Energy, Peabody Energy, Halliburton, Pengrowth Energy Trust, Atlas Energy Resources, Parker Drilling, and others. Feldman did not respond to requests for comment and to clarify whether he still holds some or all of these investments. The White House plans to appeal his ruling, and environmental groups have called his investments "a flagrant conflict of interest."

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