"Fossil fuel energy companies looking to extract oil and natural gas from U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico got a boost on Wednesday, as they secured access to 1.6 million acres of waters offered at auction.
That was just a fraction of some 73.3 million acres of federal waters the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) opened up for bidding. Officials spent more than an hour reading aloud the bids in Lease Sale 259, with some 13,600 blocks of "outer continental shelf" acreage in the Gulf of Mexico at stake.
It's the second time this month that the Biden administration has opened federal territory for new oil drilling, after it approved the large and controversial Willow project in Alaska on March 13."
Bill Chappell and Jeff Brady report for NPR March 29, 2023.
"Companies Bid $264M In Gulf Oil Sale Mandated By Climate Law" (AP)
"Judge Orders US To Resume Oil, Gas Leasing In North Dakota" (AP)