A lawsuit against the federal government over oil and gas development's impact to endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico is headed to mediation.

Earthjustice filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, and the Turtle Island Restoration Network in 2020, claiming the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act by underestimating the damage from the industry to animals like the Gulf of Mexico whale, also known as Rice's whale in its most recent biological opinion. There are only about 50 of the whales left. The 2010 BP oil spill is believed to have wiped out 20% of their population.

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