For all of his administration’s tough talk on protecting our environment, President Obama doesn’t seem to have any problem increasing the nation’s dependence on dirty energy. Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced plans to open up an astounding 112 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration, setting a bidding war in motion for some of the worst environmental offenders in America.
It should come as no surprise then to find out that the big winner in the lease auction earlier this month was BP, the main culprit behind the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) put 21.6 million acres up for auction, with area blocks ranging everywhere from 9 miles offshore, to 250 miles offshore. Overall, the auction brought in close to $110 million, with as much as 90 million acres still waiting to be auctioned off.
BP bid on a total of 31 lots, and was successful in winning 27 of those lots, more than any other energy company. The company had previously been barred from bidding on new oil and gas exploration leases following the 2010 Macondo well blowout, but that ban was lifted in March of this year.
Many of the areas that the company won are for deepwater exploration, an unpleasant scenario for areas of the Gulf Coast still reeling from the company’s 2010 disaster.
But the British oil giant BP plc has very little to fear with their new leases, even if another blowout were to occur, and that’s the part of the story that has been routinely missed by the media.