Jul 2, 2010 4:39 PM by Melissa Canone
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Several environmental groups are asking a
federal judge to throw out his order overturning a six-month ban on
deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico because of his investments
in several oil and gas companies.
A court filing Friday by the groups asks U.S. District Judge
Martin Feldman to disqualify himself from the case and vacate his
June 22 order while a federal appeals court reviews the ruling.
Feldman says he learned he owned Exxon Mobil stock a day before
he ruled and sold it several hours before he issued the decision.
But the groups supporting the moratorium say his stock sale
doesn't erase reasonable questions about his impartiality.
Exxon isn't a party in the case, but the company had one of the
33 existing exploratory rigs shut down by the moratorium.