BOEM Cancels Planned Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

February 16, 2021 by TWN Staff
An offshore oil rig. (Photo via Pixabay)

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday cancelled an oil and gas exploration lease sale for a sizable swath of the Gulf of Mexico.

Lease Sale 257, which was scheduled to be live-streamed from New Orleans on March 17, would have been the eighth offshore sale under a five-year policy instituted by the Trump administration in January 2018.

The sale would have included approximately 14,594 unleased blocks – all of the available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The sale was part of a Trump administration plan to open nearly all federal holdings in the Gulf, along the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and off the coast of Alaska, to oil and gas exploration.

President Joe Biden rescinded Trump’s executive order advancing the policy on Jan. 27.

Shortly thereafter, the Bureau canceled the public meetings and comment period for a planned lease sale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

Biden’s order directs the Secretary of the Interior to pause new oil and gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters pending completion of a comprehensive review of Federal oil and gas activities.

“Cancelling this huge offshore Gulf oil auction helps protect our climate and life on Earth. President Biden understands the urgent need to keep this oil in the ground,” said Kristen Monsell,  Oceans Program litigation director with the Center for Biological Diversity.

“This is a great step toward phasing out all offshore drilling and bringing environmental justice to the Gulf Coast and Alaska. We need to help restore coastal communities and marine life,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Energy Alliance, which had supported the lease sale, expressed its disapoointment in the Bureau’s announcement.

“Purposefully causing economic and environmental harm during an economic crisis which directly hurts blue-collar workers, destroys the livelihoods of entire communities across the Gulf, and sends a signal that conservation funding is at risk is wrong,” CEA President David Holt said.

“The long-term ramifications of surrendering our hard-fought efforts to secure our energy independence is one of the most short-sighted and economically and geopolitically naive moves by any U.S. administration in recent history,” Holt said. “America gained its energy independence while proving to the world that record energy production could co-exist alongside record emissions reductions, which we have delivered year after year for two decades.”

“While we disagree with this particular decision, CEA and its members representing farmers, truckers, manufacturers, labor, small business and individual families all across the nation continue to stand ready to work with the administration to secure aggressive environmental progress,” Holt said.

The Bureau said it will publish a Federal Register notice to formally rescind Trump’s order shortly.

In The News

Health

Voting

Energy

Gone Fission: Controversial Nuke Plant Near NYC Shuts Down
In The States
Gone Fission: Controversial Nuke Plant Near NYC Shuts Down

BUCHANAN, N.Y. (AP) — Indian Point will permanently stop producing nuclear power Friday, capping a decades-long battle over a key source of electricity in the heart of New York City's suburbs that opponents have called a threat to millions living in the densely packed region.  The... Read More

Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane
Climate
Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane
April 29, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Wednesday to reinstate an Obama-era regulation intended to reduce methane gas leaks from oil and gas facilities. In September, former President Donald Trump rolled back the regulation, which required facility operators to regularly monitor their equipment and repair it or replace... Read More

Buttigieg Advocates for Major Investment in Electric Vehicles
Transportation
Buttigieg Advocates for Major Investment in Electric Vehicles
April 26, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — President Biden recently outlined a spend of $174 billion in his American Jobs Plan to boost electric vehicle development, proliferation, and purchasing. His administration touts this as an investment in the future of safe transportation that has potential for social good. But for some,... Read More

Johns Hopkins Launches Institute to Foster New Renewable Energy Technologies
Education
Johns Hopkins Launches Institute to Foster New Renewable Energy Technologies
April 23, 2021
by TWN Staff

Johns Hopkins University and its Whiting School of Engineering announced Thursday that they are establishing the Ralph S. O'Connor Sustainable Energy Institute to support ongoing research and education in the fields of clean, renewable, and sustainable energy technologies. The wide-ranging effort is the results of a $20 million gift... Read More

Hydrogen as Fuel of the Future is a ‘Jump Ball’
Energy
Hydrogen as Fuel of the Future is a ‘Jump Ball’
April 21, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — When America Hernandez first took her job as an energy policy correspondent just over a year ago, hydrogen was considered a futuristic, but somewhat niche subject. “Boy did that change quickly!” she told participants at the Wilson Center’s Earth Optimism event focused on Hydrogen... Read More

Legislative Window For Vital Public Infrastructure Improvements Exists
Think Tanks
Legislative Window For Vital Public Infrastructure Improvements Exists
April 19, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

WASHINGTON - Public infrastructure researchers are saying the U.S. needs a new infrastructure vision, pointing to the Texas power grid failure in February as just the latest example of how vulnerable our long ignored and outdated systems have become. The worst impacts of the winter storm... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top