The federal government has been permitting offshore fracking in the Gulf with no site-specific analysis of the threats to imperiled species or the environment.
Federal regulators quietly gave the green light to more than 1,200 oil company fracking operations in the Gulf of Mexico between 2010 and 2014, according to documents environmentalists obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
At least 630 wells were fracked along the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during that four-year period, and more than 76 billion gallons in fracking waste were dumped into the Gulf in 2014 alone, the documents show.
"The Obama administration is essentially letting oil companies frack at will in Gulf ecosystems and dump billions of gallons of oil waste into coastal waters," said Kristen Monsell, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, in an online statement. "Every offshore frack increases the risk to wildlife and coastal communities, yet federal officials have been just rubber-stamping this toxic practice in the Gulf of Mexico for years."