Department of Interior to move forward with Lease Sale 257

Sept. 1, 2021
BOEM says that lease sale expected some time this fall.

Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, DC The Department of Interior says it will move forward with the process for Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Lease Sale 257, consistent with the Secretary’s authorities and discretion under applicable law.

As follow up to the department's announcement of August 24, BOEM has posted an updated Record of Decision (ROD) for Lease Sale 257 to its website.

This ROD identifies BOEM’s selected alternative (i.e., Alternative A) for proposed LS 257, which is analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Lease Sale: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 2018 (2018 GOM Supplemental EIS). 

Alternative A allows for a proposed GOM regionwide lease sale encompassing all three planning areas:  Western Planning Area (WPA); Central Planning Area (CPA); and a small portion of the Eastern Planning Area (EPA) not under congressional moratorium. 

As stated in the Department of the Interior’s announcement, BOEM expects a Final Notice of Sale for LS 257 to publish in September, with a lease sale to follow in the fall of this year.

“With mounting pressure on the Biden Administration to schedule lease sales, the Department of Interior was forced to reverse course to defend against possible contempt of court charges and sanctions for non-compliance,” said former BSEE director Scott Angelle.

In an email to Offshore, Angelle also noted that the Department of Interior “has not yet scheduled or indicated they are performing any work towards holding Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales 259 and 261, which are part of the current five-year plan. Similarly, the Department of Interior is not doing any of the work necessary to advance a new five-year plan while the current plan is expiring next June. It is important for America that this administration develops the legally required five-year plan in a timely fashion. These lease sales and the next five-year plan hold the promise of more American environmentally advantaged production, more American jobs, more affordable energy for US energy consumers and more energy security for all Americans.”