Conservation Group Sues Federal Agencies to Halt Oil Drilling Permits and Protect Endangered Marine Animals

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sued the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Secretary of Commerce, seeking a court order requiring suspension of all new permits for oil drilling off of the coast of California. CBD’s lawsuit follows the rupture of an undersea oil pipeline along the Orange County, California coast, which has further impacted endangered whales, sea turtles, and other species. CBD argues that the defendants’ existing Endangered Species Act analysis failed to adequately plan for an oil spill and asks the court to require re-examination of the threats to endangered species prior to resumption of permit issuance.