October 26, 2023

Manchin Calls on Administration to Hold Full Lease Sale 261 on November 8th

Washington, DC — Today, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the below statement following the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ order on offshore oil and gas Lease Sale 261 that stays an injunction granted by the Western District of Louisiana Court and creates uncertainty for Lease Sale 261.

“This administration has made a complete mess of Lease Sale 261, despite clear direction in the IRA to proceed with this sale by September 30th. The Department of the Interior was so eager to capitulate to demands from environmental groups that it bypassed important legal requirements, leading to litigation which had already delayed this sale until November 8th.

“BOEM must keep the commitment made during today’s hearing before the Energy & Natural Resources Committee to hold the November 8th lease sale, under the current Final Notice of Sale without the new restrictions and acreage removal announced in August. If that requires NOAA to seek to withdraw from their voluntary settlement agreement with the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, so be it. 

“Shrinking or further delaying Lease Sale 261 threatens both our energy security and climate goals and could make us more dependent on dirty foreign oil and gas — especially since the IRA prohibits BOEM from continuing offshore wind leases if oil and gas leases are not proceeding,” said Chairman Manchin.