STATEMENT on Interior Department timeline for resuming oil and gas lease sales

Aug 24, 2021

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

DENVER—The Interior Department told a federal judge this afternoon that it will soon begin the process of holding new onshore and offshore oil and gas lease sales, restarting the leasing process as early as next Tuesday. The timeline puts Interior on track to hold offshore lease auctions as early as October, and onshore auctions in early 2022.

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Policy Director Jesse Prentice-Dunn:

“The law is clear. Interior Secretary Haaland has broad discretion to determine which lands—if any—are available for oil and gas leasing. Scientists are telling us this is exactly the wrong time to throw the doors open for more drilling on our public lands. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, and the well-documented shortcomings of the leasing system, she must ensure that any public land leases that are put up for auction fully account for the costs that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. 

“This legal bind also underscores why the Biden administration must release its long-held report on the oil and gas leasing system. The administration and Congress must immediately get to work reforming a system that has shortchanged taxpayers, harmed communities, and warmed our climate. The clock is ticking, and America is almost out of time.”


  • Time for public lands to step up to the climate plate [Westwise]
  • Western public lands threatened by drilling under Biden [Westwise]
  • Biden admin to resume oil leasing, appeal order blocking oil, gas lease pause [Associated Press]
  • Statement on the Interior Department resuming oil and gas leasing [Center for Western Priorities]