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Biden Begins Oil Drilling-Rights Sale in Fresh Blow to Activists

Published 03/29/2023, 11:28 AM
Updated 03/29/2023, 11:54 AM
© Reuters.  Biden Begins Oil Drilling-Rights Sale in Fresh Blow to Activists

(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration is auctioning off oil-drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico, a fresh affront to climate activists still smarting from the White House’s approval of an Arctic exploration project. 

The 73 million acre sale — one of the nation’s largest ever — being held by the Interior Department on Wednesday was one of several required under the Democrats’ climate law as a concession to Senator Joe Manchin to secure the bill’s passage in the Senate.

Climate activists such as Earthjustice said the sale, which would offer up almost all of the unspoken-for tracts in the Western and Central Gulf, was larger than required. The group filed a lawsuit to clock the auction earlier this month.

The Interior Department declined to comment. 

At least 27 companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM). and Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX), submitted bids for more than 300 tracts representing 1.7 million acres, according to Interior Department data. 

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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