U.S. Senator Katie Britt Applauds NOAA Decision Rejecting Rice’s Whale Petition

October 30, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 27, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) applauded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) announcement today that it has formally denied a petition from non-government organizations to establish a mandatory 10-knot speed limit and other vessel related mitigation measures in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today’s announcement comes after Senator Britt led a letter joined by members of Alabama’s U.S. House delegation to NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad urging the denial of the petition.

“I am happy to say that NOAA heard our request and today rejected the nonsensical Rice’s whale petition pushed by far-left activists,” said Senator Britt. “This proposal would have significantly impeded operations at the Port of Mobile, damaged Alabama’s economy, and harmed commercial and recreational fishing operations off the Gulf Coast.”

While today’s news is welcomed and a step in the right direction, this was not the final pending regulatory question related to NOAA’s treatment of the Rice’s whale. Senator Britt continues to urge the Administration to not finalize the critical habitat designation for the Rice’s whale, due to a lack of scientifically supported data.

“I will continue to fight for common sense to prevail, so that hardworking families in every corner of our nation have the opportunity to live their American Dream,” Senator Britt concluded.

Previously, Senator Britt joined Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) in introducing the Warding Off Hostile Administrative Lease Efforts (WHALE) Act to prevent the U.S. Departments of Commerce and the Interior from issuing maritime rules related to the Rice’s whale that would impede offshore energy development and military activities.