WASHINGTON, DC – The Biden administration has canceled two lease auctions in the Gulf of Mexico and one offshore Alaska, according to multiple online reports.
A spokesperson with the US Department of Interior was quoted by Fox News to say that the DOI “will not move forward with lease sales 259 and 261 in the Gulf of Mexico region, as a result of delays due to factors including conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales.”
The Interior Department reportedly said that it “will not move forward” with two Gulf lease auctions that were planned under former President Barack Obama “as a result of delays due to factors including conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed sales.”
The spokesperson was also quoted to say that: “Due to lack of industry interest in leasing in the area, the Department will not move forward with the proposed Cook Inlet OCS oil and gas lease sale 258.”
The Interior Department did not say when it would next hold a lease sale in US coastal waters, nor did it indicate when it would complete and submit a new five-year leasing plan.
A “significant amount of internal work” still needs to be done on that five-year plan, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland told lawmakers two weeks ago, signaling that it is unlikely to be in place when the current program expires on June 30.
Federal budget documents show the Biden administration does not anticipate holding more oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico through at least October 2023.