Sale of gas and oil leases officially restarts in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday, after a hiatus following the BP oil spill in 2010, and environmental groups are stepping up lawsuits, claiming not enough is known about the effects of that spill.
The Natural Resources Defense Council and the oceans advocacy group Oceana are pushing forward with a lawsuit over the environmental impacts of the Gulf spill, financed partly by a “six-figure” donation from “Dallas” star Victoria Principal. It is the second such donation from the actress to help these groups fight offshore oil drilling.
“This is the first lease sale that has been offered since the Deepwater Horizon spill. Government did get back to business very quickly by allowing drilling to continue in the Gulf, by letting BP back into the Gulf and giving them permits to drill,” says Jackie Savitz, senior campaign director with Oceana.
“In order to do that, [the government is] required to do an analysis of the environmental impact, and they haven’t done an adequate job with that. We actually have a real practical example of what a spill can do to the ecosystem, but we haven’t finished the analysis of that: the studies aren’t out yet, and the environmental impact analysis – the government basically dismisses them, says, ‘Oh well, they’re not out yet, so too bad.’”