NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Documents show federal regulators concluded offshore oil drilling posed a low risk to endangered wildlife. The conclusion is at odds with scenes of pelicans fighting to survive the massive Gulf oil spill.
A September 2007 memo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said large oil spills from Gulf drilling projects are "low-probability events" that weren't likely to affect brown pelicans, sea turtles and other endangered species at the time.
The memo, first reported by The New York Times, concluded that the chance of oil from an offshore spill of at least 1,000 barrels reaching endangered species or their habitats was no greater than 26 percent.
The agency didn't challenge an assessment of potential danger from Gulf projects that included the Deepwater Horizon rig.