BOEM rescinds record of decision for GoM Lease Sale 257

Feb. 12, 2021
The decision pauses planning for the proposed sale, which was expected to occur in March.

Offshore staff

NEW ORLEANS – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) says it is rescinding the record of decision (ROD) for the Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 257.

The decision pauses planning for the proposed sale, which was expected to occur in March.

The ROD is being rescinded in response to Executive Order 14008, which President Joe Biden signed on Jan. 27. The order directed 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.

In response, National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito issued the following statement: “We remain hopeful that the administration will proceed with the lease sale upon completion of its review. Pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Interior completed multiple environmental reviews and specifically considered the climate impacts in 2016 during the Obama administration.

“The Obama administration review of the 2017-2022 Five Year Plan for offshore oil and gas leasing determined GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions would be higher without these lease sales because energy production would be outsourced to foreign counties resulting in a higher carbon footprint. Offshore oil production has the lowest carbon intensity of the oil producing regions and supports more than 345,000 jobs, many of which are accessible, high-paying and cannot be easily substituted.”

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) President David Holt said: “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, while threatening conservation program funding and immediately impacting coastal restoration funding, is the wrong approach.

“It has long been proven that offshore energy development in the US is among the most-regulated and environmentally responsible production on the planet.

“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. Actions like today’s reverses this course.

“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.

“At the same time, we must ensure economic viability through energy policies that promise affordable and reliable energy for every American – especially those who can least afford sharp increases in gasoline and electricity prices. The two goals are not mutually exclusive, but the lives of families, workers and the health of small businesses must be at the fore of any decision-making.”