Hinds County, Mississippi - Today, Chancery Court Judge William Singletary ruled in favor of Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) and Sierra Club in their suit against the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and its efforts to open state waters to offshore drilling. One of GRN and Sierra Club’s main concerns was that MDA failed to properly assess the economic impact of drilling on the coast.
In the final decision, Judge Singletary vindicated this concern, stating that “[a] cursory reading of the [Environmental Impact Statement] prepared by MDA shows that it is severely lacking in the requirements established by [the law].”
“It has been clear from the time that these rules were issued that the state did not consider the very real consequences of offshore drilling in regards to a tourism economy and the quality of life in coastal communities,” stated Helen Rose Patterson, Mississippi Organizer with Gulf Restoration Network. “Judge Singletary’s ruling in the case is a testament to the real need for forethought and accountability on the part of our state agencies.”
“This court ruling sends MDA back to square one as it pertains to opening state waters to oil and gas drilling. Clearly, now is the time for MDA to recognize the obvious detrimental impacts of oil and gas drilling to the tourism economy of the Coast and to Gulf Islands National Seashore. Drilling is a lose-lose situation economically for the State of Mississippi,” stated Louie Miller, Director of the Mississippi Sierra Club.
To read the full decision, click here.
Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself.
Gulf Restoration Network is a twenty-year old nonprofit focused on empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico.