BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras invalidated the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in the nation’s history by cancelling 1.7 million acres of drilling leases.

One of President Biden’s first actions in office was to ban new oil and gas drilling on lands and waters owned by the federal government. But after a Louisiana judge struck down the moratorium last summer, administration officials said they were forced to go through with the sale in November.

Judge Contreras’ decision to ‘throw out’ the last lease sale is disappointing for industry, but even a bigger blow to the American consumer. This administration continues to make decisions that increase energy costs on Americans. In just one year in office, President Biden’s energy policies (or lack thereof) have more than doubled oil, natural gas and gasoline prices. LOGA will continue to fight for actual policy that puts Americans to work while also providing affordable, reliable, and abundant energy to our nation.

Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Mike Moncla

While we are still reviewing the ruling made on Lease Sale 257, LMOGA is disappointed in the decision and concerned for the potential impacts for the economy and environment of the Gulf region. Offshore energy development is vital to our national energy security, our local and national economy, and the primary source of funding for our state’s coastal program and are critical for Louisiana’s coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects.

As we’ve said before, any threats to energy development in the Gulf would mean that the nation’s energy supply will be met by foreign oil produced with lesser environmental standards. We need smart, sound transitional policies to successfully achieve our climate goals that reflect the reality that long term demand for reliable sources of energy will continue to grow.

Our industry remains committed to working together toward our common goals for the environment and the economy, while working to deliver the affordable, reliable and responsible energy American households demand.

LMOGA President Tommy Faucheaux