clearn.png
Monday November 28th, 2022 9:16PM

Agency OKs nearly $190M in bids from offshore oil lease sale

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration accepted nearly $190 million Wednesday in bids from an offshore oil and gas lease sale that was held nearly a year ago but rejected by a federal judge.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's action was required by the climate bill that was signed Aug. 16 — a disappointment to environmentalists who worry about the climate impacts of offshore drilling, but praised by industry as a return to longstanding practice after an 18-month delay imposed by the Biden administration.

The bill had a 30-day deadline for accepting the bids. It also requires the bureau to reschedule three sales that had been put on hold by a moratorium ordered by President Joe Biden, with the first of them to be held by Dec. 31.

“We are pleased that the Department of the Interior has finally offered the first offshore leases of this administration, but it is disappointing that it took 19 months and an act of Congress to get us to this point," said Cole Ramsey, vice president of upstream policy for the American Petroleum Institute.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Wednesday that it had accepted 307 valid high bids totaling just under $189.9 million from the November 2021 sale “in compliance with congressional direction.” Companies bid on about 2% of the tracts offered for sale in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Leases resulting from this sale include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential ocean user conflicts,” the agency said in a news release.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who got the lease sale provisions into the law, said, “Our federal oil and gas leasing programs are critical to American energy security, and these offshore leases will provide the market signals necessary to help ease the pain Americans are feeling from record inflation and high energy prices.”

Miyoko Sakashita, director of the oceans program at the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental nonprofit, called the congressional order a huge disappointment.

"Congress just gave the greenlight to a lease sale that was found unlawful. That’s a serious blow to our climate and Gulf ecosystems, which have already suffered so much from oil industry pollution,” she said.

The judge's order in February said the Biden administration had failed to adequately consider the sale’s effect on planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington said Interior could decide whether to scrap the sale, undertake a fresh review or take other steps.

The National Ocean Industries Association, which represents offshore energy companies, said, “Communities along the Gulf Coast and throughout the country rely upon Gulf of Mexico oil and gas development for good-paying jobs, affordable energy supplies, and important funding for local infrastructure needs, coastal restoration and resiliency, and parks and recreation programs."

The previous lease sale, in November 2020, had brought $120.9 million in high bids on 93 tracts. Seven of those bids, totaling $9.3 million, were rejected as too low.

In a separate action, the Center for Biological Diversity asked the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to forbid companies to discharge fracking waste into the ocean.

It said trade-secret protections in current rules for permits governing oil industry discharges into the Gulf of Mexico mean EPA “often does not know what chemicals are used."

As of 2016, it said, EPA had identified nearly 1,100 chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and more than 500 found in water that comes up with oil and gas. The agency "has little to no information regarding the impacts of many of these chemicals on human and marine environments,” it said.

A proposed new permit for the western Gulf of Mexico “would allow more of the same,” the organization said in public comments about a two-year industry study to assess discharges.

The climate bill’s requirement for offshore lease sales is likely to increase offshore drilling and fracking, the group said.

“With offshore drilling set to surge, the Biden administration needs to stop oil and gas companies from poisoning the Gulf of Mexico with fracking waste,” Kristin Carden, a senior scientist at the center, said in a news release.

National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito responded, “This is a complete misunderstanding of offshore production processes and does not reflect the actual science and engineering behind how U.S. offshore oil and gas is actually produced. Performance-based limits provide strict controls on the fluids that are discharged and ensure a sound, risk-based approach to protecting the environment.”

___

To follow AP's coverage of oil and gas, go to https://apnews.com/hub/oil-and-gas-industry.

To follow AP’s environmental coverage, go to https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
R. Kelly convicted on many counts, acquitted of trial fixing
A federal jury has convicted R&B star R. Kelly of three child pornography and three child enticement charges in his hometown of Chicago
5:43PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Agency OKs nearly $190M in bids from offshore oil lease sale
The Biden administration has accepted nearly $190 million in bids from an offshore oil and gas lease sale that was held nearly a year ago but rejected by a federal judge
5:42PM ( 21 minutes ago )
'Abbot Elementary' creator wants focus on show, not Kimmel
“Abbott Elementary” creator-star Quinta Brunson says she would rather focus on the show than Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy night comedy bit
5:40PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
'It's crushing': California cleans up from messy mudslides
Rescuers are searching for a person missing in a mudslide that swept boulders down fire-scarred slopes and damaged or destroyed 30 homes in Southern California mountains
5:14PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Prosecutor: R. Kelly jurors reach a verdict; to be read soon
Jurors have reached a verdict at the trial of R. Kelly, who is accused in his hometown of Chicago of 13 charges including producing child pornography, enticing minors for sex and rigging his 2008 child pornography trial
5:14PM ( 50 minutes ago )
'Car guy' Biden touts electric vehicles at Detroit auto show
President Joe Biden spent a good portion of his day Wednesday showcasing his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles at the Detroit auto show
4:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Six detainee deaths in St. Louis prompt investigation demand
Civil rights advocates in St. Louis are demanding an investigation into the conditions at the city jail, where six detainees have died since April
3:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
Car guy Biden touts electric vehicles at Detroit auto show
President Joe Biden is showcasing his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles during a visit to the Detroit auto show
1:22PM ( 4 hours ago )
California cleans up from mudslides, as fire gains strength
Rescuers are searching for a person missing in a mudslide that swept boulders down fire-scarred slopes in Southern California mountain communities
12:28PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Minor leaguers form union, 17 days after organizing began
The Major League Baseball Players Association has become the bargaining agent for more than 5,500 minor leaguers, completing a lightning fast organization campaign that launched just 17 days earlier
5:10PM ( 54 minutes ago )
NBA considered suspending Sarver for more than 1 year
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver was likely spared even stronger sanctioning by the NBA for his racist, misogynistic and hostile words and actions because of one key conclusion by investigators
4:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Money approved for states to build car-charging network
The Biden administration has approved plans submitted by 34 states and Puerto Rico for building an ambitious national electric vehicle charging network as the U.S. begins in earnest its transition away from gas-powered transportation
4:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
US wholesale inflation declines in August to still-high 8.7%
Inflation at the wholesale level jumped 8.7% in August from a year earlier, a slowdown from July yet still a painfully high level that suggests prices will keep spiking for months to come
10:24AM ( 7 hours ago )
Pakistani premier promises compensation for flood victims
Pakistan’s prime minister says his government will ensure people are compensated for homes lost to the country's worst-ever floods, which have killed 1,481 people since mid-June
9:48AM ( 8 hours ago )
Jim Beam outlines expansion to ramp up bourbon production
Jim Beam plans to ramp up bourbon production at its largest Kentucky distillery
9:12AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
China's Xi visits Kazakhstan ahead of summit with Putin
Chinese President Xi Jinping has started his first foreign trip abroad since the outbreak of the pandemic
5:16AM ( 12 hours ago )
EU chief proposes electricity market reform, revenue cap
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to cap the revenues of electricity producing companies that are making extraordinary profits due to the war in Ukraine and climate change
3:59AM ( 14 hours ago )
Asian markets open lower after price data slam Wall Street
Asian markets have skidded lower after Wall Street fell the most since June 2020 as a report showed inflation has kept a surprisingly strong grip on the U.S. economy
8:54PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Business - Utilities
1 rail union rejects deal, 2 accept ahead of strike deadline
Members of one union have rejected a tentative deal with the largest U.S. freight railroads, while two ratified agreements and three other unions remained at the bargaining table just days ahead of a national strike deadline
6:00PM ( 6 minutes ago )
R. Kelly convicted on many counts, acquitted of trial fixing
A federal jury has convicted R&B star R. Kelly of three child pornography and three child enticement charges in his hometown of Chicago
5:43PM ( 22 minutes ago )
'Abbot Elementary' creator wants focus on show, not Kimmel
“Abbott Elementary” creator-star Quinta Brunson says she would rather focus on the show than Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy night comedy bit
5:40PM ( 25 minutes ago )
'It's crushing': California cleans up mudslide damage
Rescuers are searching for a person missing in a mudslide that swept boulders down fire-scarred slopes and damaged or destroyed 30 homes in Southern California mountains
5:39PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Ukrainian flag raised in retaken city after Russian retreat
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made a rare foray outside Ukraine's capital and highlighted Moscow’s embarrassing retreat from a Ukrainian counteroffensive
5:37PM ( 28 minutes ago )