Biden Admin Won’t Appeal Judge’s Ruling Revoking Gulf Of Mexico Leases

"The Biden administration will not challenge a federal court ruling that it did not sufficiently consider climate change when it auctioned off 1.7 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico last year, accepting a decision that invalidated the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in the nation’s history.

In a document filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, lawyers for the government said they would not appeal the district court’s ruling canceling the lease sale. But they left open the possibility that the leases could still be issued if the decision to throw out the sale’s results is ultimately overturned. The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s largest trade group, has challenged the ruling.

The government’s position is not especially surprising. The Interior Department’s environmental analysis justifying the auction was completed under the Trump administration and Biden officials actually did not want to hold the lease sale. Shortly after taking office, President Biden suspended new oil and gas drilling on lands and waters owned by the federal government. But after a Louisiana judge struck down the moratorium last summer, administration officials said they were forced to go through with the sale in November."

Anna Phillips reports for the Washington Post February 28, 2022.

Source: Washington Post, 03/02/2022