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    API appeals against Gulf of Mexico lease cancellations

Summary

API is challenging the federal cancellation of Gulf of Mexico leases over climate change.

by: Maureen McCall

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API appeals against Gulf of Mexico lease cancellations

The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed with the US Court an appeal against the decision invalidating the results of the only federal lease sale for natural gas and oil held in 2021, the industry group said February 8.

Late last year, a federal judge invalidated the largest oil and gas lease auction and sale in US history, saying the administration did not adequately consider the costs to the world's climate. Environmental groups had challenged the controversial sale, saying the administration used an analysis conducted under former president Donald Trump that was critically flawed.

“Today we’re taking action to preserve American energy leadership and ensure that development in the Gulf of Mexico can continue to play a critical role in meeting the nation’s energy needs while generating billions in revenue for critical conservation programmes,” API's senior VP for policy, economics and regulatory affairs Frank Macchiarola said.

“At a time of rising energy costs and heightened geopolitical tensions, the misguided decision to cancel the only lease sale held last year is contributing to significant uncertainty for US natural gas and oil producers and limiting access to the affordable, reliable energy that’s needed here in the US and around the world.”

The API cites an Obama-era report on the effects of offshore leasing restrictions which found that US greenhouse gas emissions will be little affected and could increase if foreign imports increased in the absence of new US offshore production.  The report concludes that increased output and subsequent transport of foreign oil would lead to higher GHG emissions than energy produced here in the US.