"The Biden administration is charting plans to sell offshore oil-drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico over the next five years, while trimming the program to its smallest level ever.
The oil leasing plan being released by the Interior Department on Friday will contain only a low number of sales, according to people familiar with the deliberations who declined to be named because the blueprint isn’t yet public. That’s far from the 11 sales the agency proposed last year, and it would be the lowest in history.
Still, even a single auction is a blow to environmentalists who argued new leasing isn’t compatible with the urgent need to decarbonize by mid-century and would lock in oil development for decades — even as domestic demand shrinks.
Oil industry advocates had pushed for a robust sale schedule to ensure steady production in the Gulf of Mexico, which provides roughly 15% of US crude output today."