First Interior Sale Under the Biden Administration to be Held on Nov. 17 for Gulf of Mexico Auction

First Interior Sale Under the Biden Administration to be Held on Nov. 17 for Gulf of Mexico Auction

September 30, 2021

Today, the Biden administration announced that the United States will hold an auction for drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico on November 17th in compliance with a court order to resume oil and gas lease sales. The last such sale in the Gulf of Mexico was in November 2020.

This will be the first auction the Interior Department has held under President Biden, who signed an executive order his first day in office pausing new federal oil and gas leasing until an analysis of their impacts were completed. Which of course was drawn out by the Interior Department and never released.

In June a federal judge in Louisiana ordered a resumption of leases on federal lands and waters, citing the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The court order was ignored by the Biden administration for two months until a filing in a Louisiana federal district court in response to that motion in June, to compel Interior to restart the leasing program and to show why it should not be held in contempt for failing to comply with the order issued weeks earlier.

Reuters reports on the November 17th auction of some 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico:

Bids must be received by Nov. 16 and will be read by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management officials the following morning in New Orleans. The bid opening will be live-streamed on the bureau’s website.

The National Ocean Industries Association, an offshore oil and gas industry trade group, said the sale “is welcome news for the American worker and our national security.”

The Interior Department in August said it will offer almost all available unleased blocks in the Gulf of Mexico at a lease sale later this year. 

This comes as welcome news to the oil and gas industry and to households across the country currently facing skyrocketing energy prices thanks to this administration’s green energy policies.