Several environmental groups have sued the U.S. Department of Interior and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM ) to block the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 218—the first auction of oil and gas exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 Deep Water Horizon explosion and spill. Oceana v. Bureau of Ocean Energy Mgmt., No. 11-2208 (D.D.C. filed 12/13/11).

The complaint alleges that BOEM ignored lessons learned from the 2010 spill and its environmental impact analysis and relied on pre-Deepwater Horizon environmental assessments that did not consider new understanding about impacts and response capabilities gained from the spill. It also alleges that BOEM did not properly consider alternatives, such as postponing the sale until adequate analyses could be completed. The complaint seeks a declaration that the sale violates the National Environmental Policy Act and Administrative Procedure Act, and an order vacating Lease Sale 218.