January 12, 2012 12:47:00 PM
JEFFERSON, La. -- Only a petroleum industry representative showed up at a public hearing on proposed oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management took testimony Wednesday on environmental impact studies prepared for the auctions, which are planned over the next five years.
In December, the government's first auction of Gulf leases since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 drew $333.7 million in winning bids. The sale covered the western Gulf off the Texas coast.
The next sale for the central Gulf is set for June, covering drilling off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association head Chris John -- the only speaker at the hearing -- said industry has implemented new post-spill standards -- and the government should encourage new drilling.