The United States unveiled a five-year proposal for offshore of oil and gas development on Friday focused almost entirely on the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. is seeking to balance efforts to fight climate change with its legal requirement to hold drilling auctions.
President Joe Biden’s administration proposed plan includes no more than 10 developments in the Gulf of Mexico and the sale of a planned project in Cook Inlet off the coast of Alaska, the U.S. Interior Department said, adding that the area to be developed could be further reduced after public comment.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said the proposal does not mean the government will move forward with any of the auctions. “From day one, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy,” Haaland said, “Today, we put forward an opportunity for the American people to consider and provide input on the future of offshore oil and gas leasing. The time for the public to weigh in on our future is now.”
The document was mandated by Congress and was released one day after the previous plan expired, and late in the day ahead of the three-day July Fourth holiday weekend.