Court Revokes Largest-Ever Gulf Oil and Gas Lease Sale - Oceana USA

Court Revokes Largest-Ever Gulf Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Oceana Applauds Ruling Revoking 80-Million Acre Lease Sale

Press Release Date: January 28, 2022

Location: Washington, DC


Austin Matheny, Dustin Cranor, APR | email:, | tel: 858.395.5577, 954.348.1314

WASHINGTON — Thursday, a federal judge invalidated the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale ever conducted in the Gulf of Mexico, Lease Sale 257. The court held that the Department of the Interior failed to accurately consider the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the lease sale. Interior must now conduct a new environmental analysis that accounts for the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the development and production of the leases. After that, the agency will have to decide whether it will hold a new auction.

Oceana applauded the ruling and released the following statement from campaign director Diane Hoskins:

“Offshore oil drilling is dirty and dangerous, and as a federal judge found yesterday, the Department of the Interior has underestimated the effect of offshore drilling on climate. Where they drill, they spill, and oil spills devastate local communities and shut down tourism along our coasts, and climate change associated with offshore drilling continues to harm our environment and contribute to rising sea levels. Expanded offshore drilling from new lease sales stands in direct contrast to serious action addressing the climate crisis. As a candidate, President Biden committed to ending new offshore drilling and as president, he made bold international commitments to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. With this ruling, there’s a lot of reason to be hopeful that President Biden can ensure we’re not expanding dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. The future of our climate and our oceans depends on his action.”

A recent Oceana analysis found that permanent offshore drilling protections for all unleased federal waters could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the equivalent to taking every car in the U.S. off the road for the next 15 years. The analysis also found that permanent protections in all unleased federal waters could prevent more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment.

For more information about Oceana’s efforts to stop the expansion of offshore drilling, please click here.

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.usa.oceana.orgto learn more.