There’s still a “long way to go” on whether the federal government will ultimately designate a critical habitat area for the Rice’s whale within the Gulf of Mexico, according to U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rejected a petition from environmental groups last week to establish a 10-knot speed limit in the Gulf of Mexico that would’ve affected tourism and industry in Alabama.

The proposal was opposed by all members of Alabama’s House and Senate delegations. Despite this victory, Tuberville said there's still work to be done.

“I was glad to see the NOAA come to their senses and reject this part of the Biden Administration’s overreaching regulatory agenda in the Gulf of Mexico,” Tuberville said on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go. Designating a Critical Habitat for the Rice’s whale throughout this expansive area would impose undue burdens and restrictions on all vessel traffic, especially in and out of the Port of Mobile in Mobile, AL.”

“The Port of Mobile covers over 4,000 acres, generates nearly 313,000 jobs, provides approximately $2 billion in state and local tax impacts, and $85 billion in economic value to Alabama as a whole. I will continue to fight back against Joe Biden’s attempts to make us reliant on our enemies for energy when we can be producing it right here in the United States, and especially in Alabama,” he added.

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