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API Appeals Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale Ruling

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WASHINGTON, February 8, 2022 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) today filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit of the decision by the D.C. District Court invalidating the results of the only federal lease sale for natural gas and oil held in 2021. The sale generated $198,511,834 in total bids, and the revenues received are directed to the U.S. Treasury, state and local governments, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund.

“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 programs,” API Senior Vice President 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 U.S. natural gas and oil producers and limiting access to the affordable, reliable energy that’s needed here in the U.S. and around the world. We call on the Department of Interior to join us in this effort and appeal the court’s ruling, which overlooked the comprehensive environmental analysis that the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management conducted as part of the NEPA process prior to the lease sale, including careful consideration of the emissions impacts of reasonable alternatives.”

An Obama-era report analyzing the effects of offshore leasing restrictions found that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions will be little affected and could increase slightly if foreign imports increased in the absence of new U.S. offshore leasing and production. The report cites foreign energy sources would substitute for reduced American offshore supply, and that increased production and subsequent transport of foreign oil would lead to higher GHG emissions than energy produced here in the United States.

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Its nearly 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.


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