WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, slammed the Biden administration’s proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2024 – 2029:
“Only holding three lease sales over the next five years in the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t even qualify as bare minimum effort,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This proposal is bad for our economic, energy, and national security. It’s a slap in the face to American energy workers and a pat on the back to Putin and OPEC dictators. If the Biden administration won’t act, Congress must. My Offshore Energy Security Act provides much needed certainty by requiring four offshore lease sales during the next two years.“
The U.S. has been without a congressionally mandated five-year plan since the previous one expired in June 2022. Cassidy met with Interior officials over the past two years who told him they were not anti-oil and gas. Today’s proposal, celebrated by the Department, squarely contradicts those assurances. The five-year plan proposes to hold only three oil sales—the smallest offshore energy program in U.S. history—in 2025, 2027, and 2029.
In May, a study found that oil production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity 46% lower than the global average, outperforming other nations like Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria.
In July, Cassidy introduced the Offshore Energy Security Act of 2023 with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), which would require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to hold two offshore oil and gas lease sales in 2024 and 2025.
Cassidy led colleagues in challenging the Biden administration’s unilateral decision to remove 6 million acres from the Gulf Lease Sale after entering into a closed-door settlement agreement with the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and Friends of the Ear and Turtle Island Restoration Network. They filed an amicus brief to restart energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Last year, Cassidy released a landmark energy & climate policy outline in response to the Biden administration’s assault on domestic energy. The outline details how we can successfully reset U.S. energy policy, including Cassidy’s plan for an Energy Operation Warp Speed to cut permitting red tape and unleash domestic energy.