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Oil drilling infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico. (Brad Zweerink for Earthjustice)
Press Release February 12, 2024

Environmental and Gulf Groups React to API Lawsuit Against Interior Dept. Targeting Five-Year Offshore Leasing Program; Seek Stronger Protections for Gulf of Mexico

As the oil industry pursues a max-out strategy for fossil fuel development in the Gulf with a new legal challenge, advocates flag serious climate, public health, and environmental concerns

Document February 12, 2024

Legal Challenge: Five-Year Offshore Leasing Program

Environmental groups and Gulf-based organizations filed a legal challenge to hold the Interior Department accountable for failing to adequately consider the public health impacts on frontline communities in its final Five-Year Program.

For more than 100 million years, sea turtles have charted the seven seas. (Irina Kozhemyakina / iStockphoto)
From the Experts February 8, 2024

Animal Magnetism: Sea turtles may follow Earth’s pull to navigate home

We’re fighting to protect the Gulf’s imperiled species as oil and gas corporations run freighters through precious habitat, drill deeper, and blast along the Gulf floor.

Rice's whale — a new species of whale recognized in 2021, previously known as a subpopulation of Bryde's whale, endemic to the Gulf of Mexico.
(NOAA Fisheries)
From the Experts January 4, 2024

Gulf Whale: Species in the Spotlight

The federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has added the critically endangered Gulf of Mexico Rice’s whale to a de facto extinction watchlist. But we still need to do more to protect the species.

staff November 20, 2023

Sabrina Devereaux

Based in Seattle, Sabrina is an associate attorney with the Oceans Program.

Rice's whale — a new species of whale recognized in 2021, previously known as a subpopulation of Bryde's whale, endemic to the Gulf of Mexico.
(NOAA Fisheries)
Article November 17, 2023

Fossil Fuel-Friendly Ruling Endangers the Last Gulf of Mexico Whales

As scientists gathered at the Smithsonian to discuss the significance of the new-to-science whale, a court decision has further jeopardized the already critically endangered whale.

The Gulf of Mexico whale is a member of the baleen whale family Balaenopteridae. With likely fewer than 100 individuals remaining, Rice's whales are one of the most endangered whales in the world. (NOAA)
Press Release October 25, 2023

House Republican Legislation Would Gut Protections for Critically Endangered Gulf of Mexico Rice’s Whales

H.R. 6008 would leave in place a Trump-era biological opinion that fails to sufficiently protect Rice’s whales, leaving them highly vulnerable to oil spills and vessel strikes

Update September 29, 2023

A Scaled-Back Offshore Leasing Plan Opens Door to Decades of Oil Extraction

The sales under this program would lock the U.S. into up to 70 additional years of offshore oil and gas extraction, further burdening the health of Gulf communities and imperiling our climate.

Oil drilling infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico. (Brad Zweerink for Earthjustice)
Press Release September 29, 2023

Earthjustice Responds to Biden Administration’s Final Five-Year Offshore Oil-and-Gas Leasing Program

The plan is considerably slimmed down from original proposal but still offers up the Gulf to oil and gas industry

Document September 29, 2023

Fact Sheet: Five-Year Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing Program

Earthjustice analyzed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Act’s connection between offshore oil and gas leasing and renewable energy leasing. Even under Earthjustice’s strictest reading of the IRA, Interior does not need to include more than a single oil and gas sale to allow for all planned federal offshore wind leasing.

Document September 25, 2023

Earthjustice Responds to Initial Fifth Circuit Ruling on Appeal of Court Order to Remove Protections for Endangered Whale from Gulf Lease Sale

Court allows Department of Interior to delay Gulf of Mexico oil and gas auction to November 8, 2023.

Press Release September 22, 2023

Environmental Groups Appeal Western District of Louisiana Order to Remove Protections for Endangered Whale from Gulf Lease Sale

Emergency order seeks to reinstate protections before upcoming, massive offshore oil and gas sale

Document September 22, 2023

Emergency Motion for Stay Pending Appeal – Order Removes Protections from Endangered Rice’s Whale

Emergency order seeks to reinstate protections before upcoming, massive offshore oil and gas sale

Document September 21, 2023

Western District of Louisiana Court Order Lease Sale 261

Granting plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction motion

A deep water drill ship anchored in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast in 2021. (Brad Zweerink / Earthjustice)
Update August 29, 2023

Let’s Not Sign Up for 70 More Years of Offshore Oil Drilling

A five-year offshore oil and gas leasing plan that will be announced later in September may include 10+ additional offshore oil lease sales.

Offshore oil and gas platforms are a common site in the Gulf of Mexico, including this one off the Louisiana coast. (Brad Zweerink / Earthjustice)
Press Release August 25, 2023

Lawsuit Challenges Massive Offshore Lease Sale for Failing to Properly Consider Gulf Communities and Climate

The lease sale is scheduled close to release of Five-Year Program, which may include 10+ additional offshore oil lease sales

Document August 25, 2023

Complaint: Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 261

Plaintiffs challenge the unlawful decision by Secretary of the Interior Debra Haaland to hold Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 261 based on insufficient and arbitrary environmental analyses, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

An aerial photo of a Gulf of Mexico whale, or Rice’s whale, swimming in the gulf. With likely fewer than 100 individuals remaining, Gulf of Mexico whales are one of the most endangered whales in the world. (NOAA)
Press Release August 24, 2023

Lawsuit Spurs Agreement to Better Protect Endangered Rice’s Whale From Offshore Drilling

Settlement agreement pauses oil and gas leasing in whale habitat and slows vessel traffic for Gulf of Mexico whales on brink of extinction while officials re-evaluate protections