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Bryde’s Whale: President Obama’s Not So Secret Plan to Shut Down Offshore Development

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 9, 2016 -

Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed to list the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) released the following statement:  

This is not about the whale. It’s an eleventh hour stunt to save face with the left at the expense of thousands of jobs and affordable energy. It’s all part of the president’s not so secret plan to completely shut down offshore development. They closed off the Atlantic and turned out the lights in the Arctic, and now they have their sights set on the Gulf. Rewarding political pals and setting booby traps for the incoming Trump administration will not make up for an otherwise failed anti-energy agenda.”


NOAA received a petition from the Natural Resources Defense to list the Bryde's whale on September 18, 2014, and it decided to conduct a 12 month status review on April 6, 2015.  Over 20 months later, NOAA published the proposed rule in the Federal Register.

The listing focuses on potential threats to the long-term survival of the Bryde’s whale in the Northern Gulf. However, relatively little is known about the whale, its behavior patterns, and its historic range. NOAA has not put forth any evidence of significant deaths or population contraction of the species as a justification for the proposed listing. It has failed to establish that the activities discussed in the proposed rule have had a detrimental impact on population.  Furthermore, NOAA has not conducted an analysis to evaluate abundance trends of the whale, nor has it established whether the whales also live in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

The proposed rule is currently open for a 60 day comment period and the ultimate decision will fall under President-elect Trump’s administration, with the likely threat of litigation regardless of the final decision. 

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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