The Biden administration says it is canceling three oil and gas lease sales scheduled in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska.
That will remove millions of acres from possible drilling as U.S. gas prices reach record highs. The Interior Department announced the decision Wednesday night, citing a lack of industry interest in drilling off the Alaska coast and “conflicting court rulings” that have complicated drilling efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, where the bulk of U.S. offshore drilling takes place.
The decision likely means the Biden administration will not hold a lease sale for offshore drilling this year.
The average for a gallon of regular gas reached an all-time high of $4.40 on Wednesday after increasing by 3 cents overnight, AAA said.
The decision was a victory for environmentalists concerned about the effects of this type of drilling.