ThinkProgress reported on Tuesday that Judge Martin Feldman, the U.S. District Court Judge who declared illegal the Obama administration’s blanket, 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, had income in 2008 from a host of energy stocks. ThinkProgress has now obtained Feldman’s latest financial disclosure report — for calendar year 2009. The disclosure, which was filed just earlier this month, reveals that Feldman may still own Transocean stock. The report also indicates that Feldman owns a new stock that was not listed in his 2008 report: Exxon.
Here are some of Feldman’s energy holdings:
Provident Energy Trust
Peabody Energy Corp
Atlas Energy Resources
EV Energy Partners
Basic Energy Services
Petrohawk Energy Corp
Boardwalk Pipeline Partnership
Valero Energy Corp
Noble Corp (a leading offshore drilling company)
View the full disclosure report here. Judge Feldman’s energy-investment income suggests a bias in favor of sustaining the fossil fuel energy industry. Recall that the question that Feldman was asked to rule on was whether Obama’s drilling moratorium inflicts an undue harm to the public interest.
Feldman ruled that the suspension of deepwater drilling “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 this country.” The energy companies who filed suit against the administration arguing the importance of oil drilling for the economy probably didn’t have to do much to convince Feldman.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Feldman sold his Exxon stock recently, though the timing of the sale is very unclear:
Judge Feldman says in a Wednesday letter to the administrative office that he sold his shares at the opening of the stock market on Tuesday, “prior to the opening of a court hearing on the spill moratorium case.”
However, the hearing took place on Monday. A secretary for Judge Feldman said he was not available to explain the discrepancy.