- Aug 25, 2021 6:58 pm GMT
The Biden administration said on Aug. 24 it would take steps to restart the federal oil and gas leasing program in the next week and plans to hold a Gulf of Mexico auction as soon as October, court papers showed. Earlier in January, U.S. President Joe Biden paused the oil and gas leasing program, pending an analysis of its impacts on the environment and value to taxpayers. Department of Interior said in a statement that it is still conducting that review.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
- A June 15 federal judge’s order blocking its months-long pause in oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.
- That order was a blow to a key White House effort to address climate change by reining in fossil fuel extraction.
- The filing to a Louisiana federal district court on Aug. 24 was in response to a motion by the state of Louisiana and 12 other states from earlier this month
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
- The US Department of Interior, the responsible agency will take procedural steps by the end of this month to prepare for a sale of oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The auction itself is expected in October or November.
- Together, federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing programs are responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions and growing climate and community impacts.
- "Yet the current programs fail to adequately incorporate consideration of climate impacts into leasing decisions or reflect the social costs of greenhouse gas emissions including, for example, in royalty rates," the department also said earlier this month.
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