The governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are asking a federal appeals court to uphold an Obama administration approval for a Shell drilling plan in the Gulf of Mexico.

Environmental groups asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta to throw out the exploration plan. The three Gulf Coast states are seeking to intervene in the case, saying deepwater oil and gas exploration is vital to the states' economies and to the fossil-fuel dependent nation.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's office released the court filings Friday.

The drilling plan approved in May would allow Shell Gulf of Mexico Incorporated to drill 10 wells off the coast of Alabama.

Environmental groups claim the drilling would violate new regulations imposed after last year's Gulf oil spill and could harm the environment.