Image by Keri Jackson from Pixabay

Scalise and other complained but there are still options to buy leases you may not drill in. It is the thought that counts.

As the fate of a March oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico hangs in the balance, the Biden administration is pressing forward with a September lease sale that will mirror the auction in question. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees the federal oil and gas leasing program for public lands and offshore waters, released preliminary details Friday for the September sale. The September and March sales were both mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act that Congress passed in 2022. Six environmental justice groups sued the Biden administration earlier this week in an attempt to block the March sale. The groups say the federal government’s climate impact analyses for the sale were woefully inadequate, among other issues. The September sale will offer up more than 73.4 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for potential leasing, according to BOEM’s notice of sale. The sales are federal auctions that let companies bid for space to explore and possibly extract oil and natural gas. BOEM is proposing to hold the sale Sept. 27. Bids are due from companies a day earlier.

Most of the bids will be in the western and central areas of the Gulf.

Bids would be largely limited to the Gulf’s western and central regions, with a sliver of blocks available in the Gulf’s eastern region. The September plan is similar to the March sale, which would offer up 73.3 million acres for leasing in the same Gulf regions. BOEM’s Friday announcement is the latest in a national oil and gas leasing saga that has twisted and turned since President Joe Biden declared a pause on federal leasing when he took office in January 2021. That move led to court challenges from fossil fuel advocates, who partially won after the Inflation Reduction Act forced the Biden administration to hold two lease sales this year — one in March, and one in September. Meanwhile, the Biden administration recently revealed in a federal lawsuit that it won’t release its latest five-year plan for oil and gas leasing until December, about a year and a half after the previous five-year plan expired and a new plan was finally released.

The oil lovers complained and the environmentalists cheered with the stoppage of the lease bids.

That admission drew swift condemnation from fossil fuel advocates, including U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority leader and a Republican from Jefferson Parish. Scalise is leading a House effort to increase the share of offshore royalties that Louisiana and other oil and gas states collect. Environmental groups have called that outrage “laughable” because the Inflation Reduction Act gave them the lease sales they desired. Interior officials have also said they are working as fast as possible to release an updated five-year plan after public comment for the document ended in October.

Hopefully the Drill Baby, Drill crowd is getting smaller, even in this state,

Gulf oil leases one in planning and one stalled
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