Feds give industry more time on offshore drilling plan

The Interior Department is giving oil and gas companies more time to comment on its new offshore leasing plan.

The auctions would be for oil and gas exploration in U.S. waters from 2017-2022.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Wednesday said it will extend the public comment period on its request for information, which calls on stakeholders and interest groups to provide feedback on where across the outer continental shelf Interior should sell oil and gas leases for the five-year span.

The bureau began the request in June, starting a 45-day comment period, but will add an addition 15 days for the public to submit information.

Interior will consider sales in all 20 outer continental shelf planning areas, including opening the Atlantic to offshore drilling.

The Atlantic has been closed to exploration for roughly 30 years.