It is shocking that the U.S. Interior Department will auction off vast oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico [“Coming off climate talks, U.S. to hold huge crude sale in Gulf,” Nov. 16, Nation].

Interior ’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has determined that extracting and burning this fuel would result in fewer greenhouse gases than leaving it underground and under the water. Environmental reviews were conducted under the Trump administration and affirmed by the Biden administration.

Climate scientist Peter Erickson points out the fallacy of this environmental review. There is something rotten in the U.S. Interior Department. Besides the greenhouse gases, there is also the issue of the environmental risks of ocean drilling. Just look at the disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, and just this year we had another oil spill in Southern California. Shouldn’t this be taken into account in an environmental review?

Frank van der Harst, Bellevue