The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday will auction vast oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico estimated to hold up to 1.1 billion barrels of crude.
It's the first such sale under President Joe Biden and underscores the challenges he faces to reach climate goals that rely on deep cuts in fossil fuel emissions.
The livestreamed sale invited energy companies to bid on leases across an area about twice the size of Florida.
It will be years before companies could start pumping crude.
That means they could keep producing oil long past 2030, when scientists say the world needs to have drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions to stave off catastrophic climate change.