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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday proposed up to 10 oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the Alaska coast over the next five years, scaling back a Trump-era plan that called for dozens of offshore drilling opportunities, including in undeveloped areas.

Administration officials said fewer lease sales — or even no lease sales at all — could occur, with a final decision not due for months.

The Interior Department had suspended lease sales in late January because of climate concerns but was forced to resume them by a U.S. District Judge in Louisiana. The Biden administration cited conflicting court rulings about that decision when it canceled the last three lease sales of the previous offshore leasing cycle.

That prior five-year cycle, a program adopted under former President Barack Obama, expired on Thursday.

There will be a months-long gap before a new plan can be put in place. The oil industry says the delay could cause problems and potentially lead to decreased oil production if sales are significantly delayed.

But Friday’s announcement is a disappointment to environmentalists who rallied around then-candidate Joe Biden when he promised to end new drilling in federal lands and waters.

Under the Trump administration, Interior officials had proposed 47 sales, including 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, 19 in Alaska and nine off the Atlantic coast that were later withdrawn. Trump lost the 2020 election before the proposal was finalized.

The current format of holding Gulf-wide sales was put in place under Obama because of dwindling interest in offshore leases. Prior to that there had been decades of regional sales.

Friday’s announcement opens a 90-day public comment period, then a final plan must be submitted to Congress. Biden 60 days before it goes into effect.


Brown reported from Billings, Mont.

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Kari Lake Says Federal Government Has Turned on People

Arizona’s Republican nominee for governor earlier this week said that America’s federal government has turned on its people.

“All I will say is that [the raid on former President Donald Trump’s home] shows that our federal government is corrupt to the core,” Lake said in an interview on Newsmax. “This is the kind of stuff you see in a banana republic. I mean, I think the El Salvador president had a great quote … when he said ‘What would the United States have done if we did this in El Salvador? They probably would have invaded.'”

“I mean, this is outrageous that the government – the federal government that we the people created – has now turned on we the people, and we’re not gonna continue to let this happen,” said Lake. “This ruling in the Supreme Court last session, I think it was EPA vs. West Virginia, cracked open the door to start going after and pushing back against these agencies that are not run by elected officials. They’re run by bureaucrats who are trying to destroy our lives or make our lives more difficult, and that’s why it’s going to take the states to step forward and say “enough is enough,’ and we intend to do that here in Arizona.”

Monday, Trump announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had raided his Mar-a-Lago home. The raid is said to be part of an investigation into classified documents.

Many Trump supporters view the raid as retaliation against a president with whom those in Washington did not agree.

Lake appears to view it similarly and noted several high-profile cases in which the FBI seems disinterested.

“Is now a good time to remind everyone that Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book of Elite Pedophiles has been buried and brushed away?” she said shortly after the raid.

“Hey, [FBI] — any interest in Hunter Biden’s Laptop? Asking for a friend of mine that was raided today,” she said after that, referencing the now-infamous Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

– – –

Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “United States Capitol” by David Maiolo. CC BY-SA 3.0.


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