No Offshore Oil Auctions Devastating To Americans, NOIA Says
National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito has issued a response to the Interior Department’s decision not to move forward with planned Gulf of Mexico and Alaska oil and gas lease sales.
Last week, the Biden administration scrapped planned auctions of drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet in a move that deepens uncertainty over the future of the U.S. government’s offshore oil leasing program.
The Interior said that it would not move forward with two Gulf of Mexico lease auctions planned under former President Barack Obama due to conflicting court rulings regarding the auctions. The department’s justification for the Alaska lease auction cancellation was a ‘lack of industry interest in leasing the area’.
The previous five-year plan ends on June 30 and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland claimed that a new one is unlikely to be in place when the current program expires. The Biden administration also doesn’t anticipate selling more oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico through at least October 2023.
In response to the decision of the Interior Department, a not-so-surprised NOIA president Erik Milito made the following statement.
"This decision is not surprising at all. As early as March 2020, then-candidate Biden made it clear that he would stop federal oil and gas development if elected. This was followed by additional formal campaign declarations, a pause on federal leasing that continues today, and continued statements by the Administration that it is their intent to stop additional federal oil and gas development.
“The Administration absolutely has the ability to hold these lease sales. They also have the ability to prepare a new leasing program for the 2022-2027 program. This has been proven by the actions of all past Administrations, including the Obama White House.
"These decisions are devastating to Americans. Restricting American energy development will quite simply lead to reduced American supplies, higher prices, lost investment, destruction of high-paying jobs throughout the country, harmful geopolitical consequences, and a reversion to dependency on foreign suppliers – such a Russia, Iran, and China – with little interest in reducing emissions and protecting workers and the environment.
“The adverse consequences of the explicit decision to suspend U.S. oil and gas development are being felt in a very hard way by everyday Americans and by our allies around the world," Milito said.
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