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Ocean drilling

Biden Administration Reinstates Nearly $190 Million In Drilling Leases

The Biden administration on Wednesday reinstated nearly $190 million in bids from fossil fuel companies for an oil-and-gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico that had previously been invalidated by a federal judge. The move was one of the compromises struck between Democratic party leaders and pro-fossil-fuel Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia in exchange for his support of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history to date. “Leases resulting from this sale include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential ocean user conflicts,” the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said in a statement Wednesday.

Ocean Seismic Blasting Halted

Florida - After years of advocacy and legal back-and-forth, environmental conservation groups are celebrating a victory: The government will prohibit the use of sonic blasts in the ocean this year, which could help save the lives of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. During an Oct. 1 conference, officials from the seismic blasting industry announced they won’t pursue efforts to employ seismic blasting to search for offshore oil, a move that dozens of environmentally-focused conservation groups and coastal communities, including New Smyrna Beach and Flagler County, have signed resolutions against. 
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