With no public announcement, the Bush administration has given the go-ahead to two new natural gas wells in the Padre Island National Seashore, which boasts the nation’s longest stretch of undeveloped beach and 11 endangered species. Oil and gas drilling have occurred in the Texas park before, but the rate of drilling dropped sharply in the last 20 years. Environmentalists say the new wells will further threaten the world’s smallest and most endangered sea turtle, the Kemp’s ridley, which uses Padre Island as its principal nesting ground in the U.S. To build the new well, heavy trucks will now drive about 20 times a day over nesting grounds. The Sierra Club said it would sue to stop the drilling.

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