Interior Department Publishes Final 2024–2029 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, Enabling Offshore Wind Industry to Progress

Plan phases down oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and includes zero oil and gas lease sales in the Atlantic, Pacific and Alaskan waters 

Last edited 12/15/2023

WASHINGTON — Consistent with the requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) concerning offshore conventional and renewable energy leasing, the Department of the Interior today published the final 2024–2029 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (Program) with the fewest oil and gas lease sales in history. The Department published the Proposed Final Program and corresponding Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement in September.

The IRA prohibits the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from issuing a lease for offshore wind development unless the agency has offered at least 60 million acres for oil and gas leasing on the OCS in the previous year. The Program schedules three oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico Program Area in 2025, 2027 and 2029. These three lease sales are the minimum number that will enable the Interior Department’s offshore wind energy program to continue issuing leases in a way that will ensure continued progress towards the Administration’s goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.  

The reduction of the next National OCS Program to three lease sales meets the IRA’s requirements for future offshore renewable energy leasing. The areas considered for leasing and number of lease sales in the 2024-2029 Final Program have been significantly narrowed from the previous Administration’s original proposal of 47 lease sales off all coastal areas in the United States.  

Section 18 of the OCS Lands Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to establish a schedule of lease sales for a five-year period by balancing specific factors of OCS regions and selecting the size, timing and location of OCS lease sales that best meet regional and national energy needs and considers the impact of oil and gas exploration on the marine, coastal and human environments.  

Additional information, including the combined decision memo and Record of Decision, can be found on BOEM’s website.  


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