Obama-Appointed Leftist Judge Halts Bayou Bridge Pipeline

The sound you just heard was hundreds of jobs being killed, as work on the Bayou Bridge has to stop thanks to a goofy environmentalist law suit and a left-wing nut in a black robe.

A federal judge in Baton Rouge has halted construction of the Bayou Bridge crude oil pipeline planned through the heart of the Atchafalaya Basin, granting the request of environmental groups opposed to the project.

Saying she will later explain her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Shelly Dick issued an order Friday prohibiting the companies building the pipeline from continuing construction. Work on the pipeline had begun in January, after final permits were approved.

In the order issuing a preliminary injunction, Dick wrote that she was enjoining further work on the pipeline “in order to prevent further irreparable harm until this matter can be tried on the merits.”

In this case, Earthjustice brought a federal suit on Jan. 11 against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West, the Waterkeeper Alliance and the Sierra Club. They allege the Corps acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” when it issued a key permit for the pipeline.

Those groups welcomed Dick’s decision Friday.

“The court’s ruling recognizes the serious threat this pipeline poses to the Atchafalaya Basin, one of our country’s ecological and cultural crown jewels,” Jan Hasselman, an Earthjustice attorney, said in a statement. “For now, at least, the Atchafalaya is safe from this company’s incompetence and greed.”

There are countless oil and gas pipelines running through the Atchafalaya Basin as it is. How this frivolous suit wasn’t dismissed immediately is a mystery.

But Shelly Dick is the kind of judge who’ll do this sort of thing. She just proved David Vitter correct.

When the Obama administration nominated her as a federal judge, Vitter refused to return a “blue slip” on her and in so doing blocked her appointment to the federal judgeship she now holds for the better part of a year in hopes that Obama would lose re-election in 2012. Obama won, and Vitter couldn’t stop her nomination, so onto the federal court she went.

And now she’s blocked a project which would create some 4,000 jobs in an area of the state starved for economic activity.

The hits just keep on coming.

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