Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale Yields $539 Million in High Bids on Nearly One Million Acres in Central Planning Area
Office of the Secretary
Sale reflects market conditions, industry interest in steady development of federal offshore oil and gas resources
Last edited 4/26/2016
NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today held an oil and gas lease sale for the Central Gulf of Mexico that drew $538,780,056 in high bids for tracts on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
A total of 42 offshore energy companies submitted 195 bids on 169 tracts, covering about 923,700 acres. The sum of all bids received totaled $583,201,520.
“The Gulf remains a critical component of our nation's energy portfolio and holds important energy resources that spur economic opportunities for Gulf producing states, creating jobs and home-grown energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who opened the lease sale. “While this sale reflects today's market conditions and industry's current development strategy, it underscores a steady, continued interest in developing these federal offshore oil and gas resources.”
Lease Sale 235 builds on the first six sales held under the Obama Administration's Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program) that offered more than 60 million acres for development, garnered $2.4 billion in bid revenues and awarded 877 leases. The Five Year Program makes available all offshore areas with the highest resource potential and includes 75 percent of the nation's undiscovered, technically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources.
“As one the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico continues to be the keystone of the Nation's offshore oil and gas resources,” BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said. “The recent drop in oil prices and continued low natural gas prices obviously affect industry's short-term investment decisions, but the Gulf's long-term value to the nation remains high and the President's energy strategy continues to offer millions of offshore acres for development while protecting the human, marine and coastal environments, and ensuring a fair return to the American people.”
Lease Sale 235 offered 7,788 unleased blocks, covering about 41.2 million acres, located from three to 230 nautical miles offshore in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (3 to 3,400 meters). BOEM estimates the sale could result in the production of 460 to 890 million barrels of oil, and 1.9 trillion cubic feet to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The lease sale also included 201 blocks located, or partially located, within the three statute mile U.S. - Mexico Boundary Area, as well as blocks within the former Western Gap that lie within 1.4 nautical miles north of the Continental Shelf Boundary between the United States and Mexico. These ares are subject to the terms of the U.S. - Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement which entered into force on July 18, 2014. None of those blocks received bids today.
BOEM established the terms for this sale after extensive environmental analysis, public comment and consideration of the best scientific information available. These terms include measures to protect the environment, such as stipulations requiring that operators protect biologically sensitive features as well as providing trained protected species observers. The observers would monitor marine mammals and sea turtles to ensure compliance with protective measures and restrict operations when conditions warrant.
The lease terms include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers, including an increased minimum bid for deepwater tracts and escalating rental rates. The leases would also allow a lessee to earn a longer lease term for spudding a well in deeper water or by drilling to a minimum target depth.
Following today's sale, each bid will go through a strict evaluation process within BOEM to ensure the public receives fair market value before a lease is awarded.
BOEM oversees 160 million acres on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. About 28.5 million acres (5,279 blocks) are leased for oil and gas development; and4.6 million of those acres (924 blocks) are producing oil and natural gas.