Biden administration cancels Gulf oil and gas lease sales 

The Interior Department confirmed Wednesday that it will not hold three oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska that had been scheduled to take place, taking millions of acres off the auction block.

As The Washington Post reports, the decision, which comes as U.S. gas prices have reached record highs, effectively ends the possibility of the federal government holding a lease sale in coastal waters this year. The Biden administration is poised to let the nationwide offshore drilling program expire next month without a new plan in place.

While President Biden has spoken in recent weeks about the need to supply oil and gas to Europe so those nations can stop importing energy from Russia in light of the war in Ukraine, the move would mark a victory for climate activists intent on slowing U.S. fossil fuel leasing.

Barring unexpected action, the current five-year offshore drilling program will lapse at the end of June. Interior cannot hold any new oil and gas lease sales until it has completed a replacement plan. Even though the federal government is legally obligated to create a new plan, the administration has not released its proposal. Read the full story.