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U.S. Appeals Court Extends Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales Deadline

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An appeals court in the United States is allowing the Biden administration time till November 8th. Within this time limit, they have to complete the expansion of sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

This decision from the appeals court comes after a long legal battle for the protection of an endangered whale species.

The ruling comes from the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. According to a request from the U.S. Interior Department, the court allowed some time before the federal judge’s order.

The order was issued in Louisiana. There was a mandate from the court that the government had to hold an auction by the end of this month. The auction was to offer 6 million acres more that what was initially the plan.

The Interior Department, however, disagreed with the ruling. But, instead, it sought more time to carry out the sale. They held that it was indeed a short deadline. To carry out orders in such a short time would create chaos.

This auction in question had already begun. Now, making changes to it according to the court order would be time-consuming.

Amidst the latest developments on the matter, it is important to know that the 5th Circuit did not completely throw out the judge’s decision.

Environmental activists called for broader action to save the endangered species, the Rice’s whale from repercussions of oil and gas development.

This court order was celebrated by the oil and gas industry. Earlier, they had sued the state of Louisiana due to the Interior Department’s decision to cut back on the auction.

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