Five-year Plan: U.S. to Hold Between Zero and 11 Offshore Drilling Lease Sales
President Joe Biden's administration on Friday unveiled a five-year proposal for offshore oil and gas development in areas of existing production, and said the final plan may have anywhere from zero to 11 lease sales.
The range of options, between two auctions a year and none at all, sought to balance the administration's efforts to fight climate change with its calls to increase oil and gas supplies in the face of soaring fuel prices.
The proposed plan includes no more than 10 possible sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet off the coast of Alaska, the Interior Department said, adding that areas of development could be winnowed further after public comment.
The proposal mirrors the recently expired five-year offshore drilling plan put forward by former President Barack Obama's administration. It is much narrower than one proposed but not adopted in 2018 by former President Donald Trump's administration, which offered acreage off most of the Atlantic and Pacific as well.