The Biden administration’s plan to scale back by millions of acres of the number of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico was stopped in its tracks by a federal judge who ordered the Interior Department to expand the sales.
The cut-back in acres was designed, according to the government announcement made in August, to protect an endangered shale species. U.S. District Judge James David Cain Jr. in Lake Charles, Louisiana ruled last week for an expansion of the sales. His ruling came after the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management reduced the original planned sale of 73 million acres of offshore tracts to 67 million acres.
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