Companies bid $192 million in 1st Gulf oil sale under Biden

FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2014, file photo, oil pump jacks work in unison in Williston, N.D. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Energy companies have offered a combined $192 million for drilling rights on federal oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico in the first government lease sale under President Joe Biden.

Wednesday’s auction laid bare the hurdles Biden faces to achieve climate goals that depend on deep cuts in fossil fuel emissions.

Shell, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and other companies bid on tracts totaling nearly 2,700 square miles.

Since it takes years before crude is pumped, the leases could produce oil and gas long past 2030, when scientists say the world needs to have drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions to stave off catastrophic climate change.

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