What’s at Stake
Among the Gulf species listed under the Endangered Species Act that are harmed by offshore drilling are Bryde’s and sperm whales, Kemp’s ridley and loggerhead sea turtles, and elkhorn corals.
In 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused the death or serious harm to billions, if not trillions, of fish, sea turtles, whales, and other animals, including more than 100,000 individuals of species listed as threatened or endangered, according to scientists’ estimates.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is required under the Endangered Species Act to complete a consultation with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on their oversight of oil and gas operations that could impact threatened and endangered species.
A long-overdue, and scientifically inadequate, assessment was released in 2020. It was triggered by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy and took a decade to complete.
On behalf of our clients, Earthjustice has brought a series of court actions to ensure that legally required safeguards are established to prevent further harm to sea turtles, whales, and other threatened and endangered species from oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chris Eaton, Attorney, Oceans Program, Earthjustice: “This administration has been acting as if the Deepwater Horizon disaster had no effect on the Gulf. We hope this long-overdue assessment will inject some accurate facts and science into the government’s offshore drilling decisions.”