The Interior Dept. reinstated offshore oil lease sales across an area of the Gulf of Mexico bigger than Delaware on Wednesday in order to comply with a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act. The reinstated leases were offered last November in Lease Sale 257 (which offered leases across an area of the Gulf bigger than New Mexico), which was originally approved by the previous administration and which a federal judge ruled the Biden administration could not prevent. The

IRA provision, a concession included to secure the support of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), notwithstanding, the lease sale is still legally flawed because its underlying environmental analysis fails to account for the climate change impacts of the leases, Steve Mashuda, a senior attorney with Earthjustice, told E&E. “Climate is the driving factor for whether or not we ought to be issuing more and more oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “Unless the agency does a competent and complete job of considering those impacts, then every decision is going to be flawed.” (E&E $, Washington Post $, Politico Pro $, Wall Street Journal $, Reuters, AP, Washington Examiner, The Hill)