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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.

Planned for March 2018, the proposed Lease Sale 250 includes regulations to protect species in the area, biologically sensitive resources, and to avoid any other potential consequences of oil and gas development, per the department's press release. The terms are not yet final.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said: "In order to strengthen America's energy dominance, we must anticipate and plan for our needs for decades to come...the administration's decision to move forward with the largest offshore lease sale in our nation's history is a key part of that effort."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.