Sierra Club sues government over oil company exemptions - - The News for South Mississippi

Sierra Club sues government over oil company exemptions


NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - The U.S. Interior Department is being sued for illegal waivers of blowout scenarios in connection with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Gulf Restoration Network and the Sierra Club filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the U.S. Minerals Management Service (M.M.S.) for exempting oil companies drilling in the Gulf from disclosing blowout, worst case oil spill scenarios and response plans.

The lawsuit says by law, M.M.S. is required to include blowout and worst case oil spill scenarios before approving exploratory offshore drilling plans, and that did not happen for the BP Deepwater Horizon rig.

Mississippi Sierra Club Director Louie Miller said they worked six years ago to keep oil drilling 12 miles south of the barrier islands, but now they know that 50 miles isn't enough.

He added they need to make sure there are no more free passes for disaster-prone wells and that if the oil companies can't respond to a blowout, they shouldn't drill.

The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in New Orleans.

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