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Opening Brief Filed in Offshore Drilling Lawsuit

Policy Integrity, on behalf of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Sustainable Economy, filed the opening brief in a lawsuit to halt illegal practices at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The brief argues that incomplete and flawed economic analysis leads BOEM to sell new offshore leases too quickly and too cheaply, potentially costing the American public hundreds of billions of dollars.

Currently, America’s energy needs are being met, the vast majority of previous leases remain idle, and the U.S. has become a major exporter of petroleum and gas products. These factors make deepwater oil deposits far more valuable in the future. According to administrative law, the government must incorporate these considerations into its lease-sale decisions, including the option of deferred leasing.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia and will be argued next year.

In 2012, Policy Integrity sent a letter to BOEM along with Michael Livermore’s working paper, Patience is a(n Economic) Virtue requesting that the agency incorporate options value into their assessments of offshore drilling lease sales.