Feds schedule Gulf offshore oil lease sale for November

President Joe Biden’s administration says it has followed a court order to schedule an offshore oil and gas lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico after the Democratic president’s moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands was blocked by a judge.

The sale will be livestreamed from New Orleans on Nov. 17, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday. Bidding will be only by mail. 

The agency postponed lease sales scheduled in March after Biden’s executive order aimed at combating climate change. But Louisiana and 12 other states sued, and in June a federal judge found that the government had omitted steps required for such actions. The administration said in August that it would comply while appealing the judge’s order. 

The sale will cover roughly 136,000 square miles located from 3 miles to 231 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico with water depths ranging from 9 feet to more than 11,115 feet.

The scheduling “is welcome news for the American worker and our national security,” says Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association. Read more.