The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued a statement by Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers on API's preliminary injunction motion filed in the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana ahead of Lease Sale 261:
API seeks urgent court action against the Biden administration's actions, which have hindered offshore Lease Sale 261's energy contributions and targeted American energy workers. These actions jeopardize energy security, jobs, and the Gulf Coast economy. We urge the Interior Department's commitment to fulfill its obligations.
For 45 years, the Interior Department has prepared five-year offshore leasing programs to meet America's energy needs. Over a year has passed since the lapse of the previous program, impacting the Gulf of Mexico's crucial production. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico's low carbon intensity barrels are vital, and constraining production could lead to higher carbon intensity sources.
Gulf of Mexico federal offshore oil and gas production is substantial, contributing 15% and 5% to U.S. crude oil and natural gas production, respectively.
Recent operating recommendations could burden operators and increase emissions, affecting vessel operations. These restrictions, including those in Lease Sale 261's Final Notice of Sale, could reduce transit windows by about 50%, posing challenges for ongoing operations.
Unfairly singling out oil and gas traffic, these restrictions impact a heavily used maritime area shared by various industries, with thousands of daily vessel passages.
API, along with Louisiana and Chevron U.S.A. Inc., contested the Final Notice of Sale for Lease Sale 261 last week.