BOEMRE completes draft SEIS for Lease Sale 218

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 21 -- The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement has completed a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for proposed US Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale 218 in the western Gulf of Mexico. The draft SEIS updates findings of several previous EISs covering the gulf, as well as new analyses using the latest information available from the Macondo deepwater well accident and crude oil spill, BOEMRE said on Apr. 19.

Comments will be accepted until June 6 on the draft SEIS, which is available online. Comments will be used to prepare the final EIS for the sale, BOEMRE said. It also has scheduled public meetings on the draft SEIS in Houston on May 17 and New Orleans on May 19.

A congressional critic of the Obama administration’s oil and gas policies said that plans to hold one lease sale before the end of 2011 are encouraging, but come after the US House Natural Resources Committee approved a bill requiring the sale to move forward and weeks before the full House was expected to vote on it.

“Squeezing in one conveniently timed offshore lease sale before the end of the year is not enough to undo the administration’s long track record of blocking and delaying American energy production,” Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), the committee’s chairman, said on Apr. 20. “In addition to holding this lease sale, the Administration should move forward with other sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that were scheduled to take place this year.”

Contact Nick Snow at

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