Trump administration delays most June oil and gas lease sales
The US Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the federal government’s oil and gas leasing program, did not give a reason for the delays. Officials from the agency were not immediately available for comment
The Trump administration has shelved all but one of the oil and gas lease sales it had scheduled for this month as the coronavirus pandemic has caused energy prices to crash and left US drillers in crisis.According to a government website on Wednesday, sales in Utah and Colorado have been officially postponed, adding to the recent delay of June auctions in Nevada and Mississippi.The US Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the federal government’s oil and gas leasing program, did not give a reason for the delays. Officials from the agency were not immediately available for comment.Drilling on federal lands is a crucial part of President Donald Trump‘s “energy dominance” agenda to maximize domestic production of fossil fuels.In Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management had been expected to offer 15 parcels covering 4,851 acres. The Utah sale would have been for four parcels on 4,376 acres.The bureau began putting off lease sales last month when it abruptly postponed an auction in New Mexico. It had previously proceeded with a slew of auctions on public lands earlier this year as the novel coronavirus began spreading rapidly in the United States, prompting a historic drop in oil prices.A sale by the bureau of 135 leases covering 169,750 acres in Wyoming is still scheduled for June 23 and 24.