The U.S. government's underwhelming offshore lease sale

Let's spend a little more time with the Interior Department's Gulf of Mexico lease sale Wednesday that, as we noted here, drew modest bidding and interest despite making 77 million acres available.

Data: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: While the sale was scheduled during the Obama years, Interior's decision to make so much acreage available, the lowering of shallow-water royalty rates, and the tepid bidding bring two trends into focus: The Trump administration's aggressive promotion of U.S. fossil fuels and the wealth of other options that companies have outside the Gulf.