Zinke announces largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced a proposal for the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history, totaling 76.9 million acres on the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Why it matters, per Axios' Amy Harder: Offering lease sales of federal waters and lands is one of the easiest and simplest ways the Trump administration can show it's supportive of the oil and gas industry.
  • But, but, but: Persistently low oil prices make new, expensive offshore drilling projects a lot less attractive to the industry than if prices were high. This is more rhetoric than substantive change. Also, the Obama administration actually initially planned this sale a few years ago.