By Ben Geman - 06/24/10 11:24 PM EDT
“Out of an abundance of caution, we determined this firewall should cover litigation on all issues, not just those dealing with offshore drilling,” he writes, noting that Beinecke stepped down from the NRDC committee that considers and approves all of the group’s litigation.
“She was removed from all email distribution lists that discuss proposed or pending NRDC litigation, and all staff were instructed not to speak with Frances about ongoing or potential NRDC cases,” Bernard writes.
President Barack Obama named Beinecke to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling earlier this month. Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham (D) and William Reilly, a Republican who headed EPA under former President George H.W. Bush, are co-chairs of the seven-member commission.
Bernard noted that NRDC’s intervention last week in litigation over the deepwater drilling freeze occurred without Beinecke’s knowledge.
A federal judge on Tuesday issued an injunction against the Obama administration’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, siding with several companies that provide services to offshore rigs that had challenged the ban.
“The firewall we have established will stay in place as NRDC appeals the district court decision enjoining enforcement of the moratorium. This litigation is consistent with NRDC’s efforts to help the people and the ecosystem of the Gulf,” Bernard writes.