Seeking the Truth About Offshore Drilling


On January 8, 2019, the International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) sued the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Interior over its failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request related to its offshore drilling plans. In January 2018, Interior Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration announced its proposal to lease 90% of the US offshore area for oil and gas drilling, threatening massive oil spills, chronic oil contamination, dumping of toxic drilling muds, and loud noise from air gun blasting of sediments and oil drilling operations. Despite minimal public outreach in the states affected by offshore drilling and overwhelming public opposition, the Administration moved forward with its proposal. IMMP submitted a FOIA  request in March 2018 in order to shed light on which third parties the Secretary met with prior to its offshore drilling decision, how Interior developed its public outreach plan, and whether Interior actually took into consideration comments received from the public. To date, the Office of the Secretary has not provided a single document.

Significant Developments

January 9, 2019: Blog Post - International Marine Mammal Project

January 8, 2019: Case Update

Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia over Interior's failure to respond to IMMP's FOIA request.


International Marine Mammal Project


Hope Babcock & Ariel Nelson, Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown University Law Center

Focus Area

Ocean and Water