Mar 23, 2018

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.

Quoted: Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, summed up the modest sale in an interview with Canada's Business News Network...

“It’s good for oil and gas companies, not so great for the U.S. taxpayer, but it is consistent with this whole ‘energy dominance’ theme. The funny part is, we’re already energy dominant as it is, or on track to be energy dominant, from our onshore assets. We really didn’t need the offshore assets, we could have held them back to wait until prices were higher,” he said.

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Podcast: Blood and oil

Gas prices in the U.S. are stable, despite the unfolding crisis with Iran. Dan and Axios energy reporter Amy Harder discuss if this is the new normal.

Go deeper: Why oil prices aren't rising

The decade that blew up energy predictions

Illustration: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

America’s energy sources, like booming oil and crumbling coal, have defied projections and historical precedents over the last decade.

Why it matters: It shows how change can happen rapidly and unexpectedly, even in an industry known to move gradually and predictably. With a new decade upon us, let’s look back at the last one’s biggest, most surprising energy changes.

Go deeperArrowDec 23, 2019

Amid chaos, new decade brings big global warming changes

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We’ve had enough news in recent days to suggest we’re 13 months, not days, into this decade.

Driving the news: President Trump pushes the biggest changes to environmental law in 50 years, the world’s biggest investor is going big on global warming and House Democrats are going it alone on climate policy. And this all just happened last week!

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020