Low prices, virus cited in calls to delay US oil lease sale

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmentalists say the U.S. government should put off plans for an oil lease sale Wednesday, citing low prices and concerns about the new coronavirus.

The government has held the Gulf of Mexico lease auctions online since protesters disrupted a sale in 2016.

The group Healthy Gulf says it’s foolish to sell valuable assets when oil and gas prices are low.

A group of current, former and retired national park workers and volunteers says oil leases should not be “rushed through” when the government should be focused on health.

A spokesman says the bureau is following health and safety guidelines and evaluates all bids for fair market value.

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