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Conservationists Sue Over Offshore Gulf Drilling Plan That Ignores Deepwater Hazards

Photo: Delfino Barboza

Conservationists are suing the federal agency that oversees offshore oil drilling for failing to consider the devastating impacts of the Deepwater Horizon spill in future leases.

The 2010 spill was blamed for killing over 100,000 birds alone, along with dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life.

Jacqueline Lopez is an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. The center is one of 4 groups suing.

“We shouldn’t be relying on outdated, inferior, lesser estimates of what a bad spill could look like. We should be saying, hey, this is what a bad spill can look like. And guess what? It could actually get worse.”

This latest blueprint for drilling activities is good until 2029. That could mean hazards from the Deepwater spill get ignored for years to come.

“That could include lease sales. So if a lease sale is authorized between now and the next nine years, some lease sales can go up to 40 years. So it would lock in now this phony baloney assessment for development activities that could go forward for the next four decades.”

The federal government has two months to reply to the lawsuit filed last week in Tampa federal court.

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