Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Mike Moncla released a statement last week urging the federal government to renew its five-year offshore leasing plan, in response to the Biden administration canceling three upcoming oil and gas lease sales.
“The canceling of the sale of leases 259 and 261 in the Gulf of Mexico puts a beautiful exclamation point on the absolute devastation that this administration has caused to our industry, and to our nation,” Moncla says in the statement, adding that he was not surprised at the decision because Biden had previously said he would not move forward with any lease sales.
Moncla says holding off on lease sales will have “devastating effects on Gulf of Mexico production for years to come.” As The Washington Post reports, Biden administration officials say they are working on a proposal for a new offshore program and say the industry’s concerns are overblown. According to the Interior Department’s figures, more than three-quarters of the offshore federal waters already under lease remain unused. That’s roughly 8 million acres where companies could drill wells but have not.