The Biden administration knew it was not required to hold a record-breaking auction for new oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico last month (just four days after COP26) contradicting its public insistence that a court order compelled it to do so, court documents reported by The Guardian reveal. The Justice Department acknowledged in a court filing on August 24, the court order “does not compel” the Interior Department to go ahead with the oil and gas leases, “let alone on the urgent timeline” the states suing the administration had demanded.
“Interior had a lot of discretion over whether to hold this lease sale and they chose to do it anyway,” Brettny Hardy, a senior attorney at Earthjustice, told The Guardian. “The administration has been misleading on this, to put it mildly, it’s very disappointing,” Thomas Meyer, national organizing manager of Food and Water Watch, told The Guardian. “They didn’t have to hold this sale and they didn’t have to hold it on this timeline.” (The Guardian)