Biden administration won’t appeal invalidation of offshore oil leases

The Biden administration last week declined to appeal a January court decision that invalidated oil and gas leases it sold last year, reports The Hill.

Other parties, namely the state of Louisiana and oil and gas lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute, have indicated that they would appeal. But they won’t have the federal government behind them.

In its new filing, the Biden administration also argued that if the decision to vacate the leases sold in Lease Sale 257 is reversed, it had wide discretion on whether to dole out the leases that would enable companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Interior agrees with the other parties that, in the event this Court reverses the district court’s vacatur, the expiration of the five year program on June 30, 2022, does not prevent Interior from awarding leases pursuant to Lease Sale 257 after that date—although, as discussed herein … Interior has the authority to decline to award the leases at that juncture,” it said in the filing. Read the entire story.