Lawsuit Seeks to Shed Light on Interior’s Decision to Open Our Coastal Waters to Oil and Gas Drilling
On January 8th, the International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) of Earth Island Institute sued the Trump Administration over the failure of the Interior Department to provide documents related to its offshore oil drilling plans. Throughout 2018, IMMP asked for records related to these plans under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but received no response from the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Interior. IMMP seeks a court order compelling the Trump Administration to obey FOIA and provide the documents.
On January 4th, 2018, the Trump Administration announced a 5-year-plan to open up 90% of the United States’ outer continental shelf (OCS) to offshore oil drilling. This announcement was met with immediate public outcry and numerous demonstrations across the United States in opposition to this plan.
“The Trump Administration continues to move forward, despite widespread public opposition, to open virtually all of our coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling,” said David Phillips, Director of IMMP. “And without the documents we requested, we can only speculate that the requests of the oil and gas industry are the real motivation behind this decision.”
Not only is this decision a huge give-away to the oil and gas industry but it is also a serious danger to the ocean environment and our atmosphere. As detailed below, offshore oil and gas development has serious and numerous impacts on marine life.
Why is offshore oil drilling so dangerous?
The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the Institute for Public Representation of Georgetown University Law Center, representing IMMP.