It was a pretty lonely affair this week as only one petroleum industry representative showed up to the public hearing that dealt with proposed oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management took testimony yesterday on environmental impact studies prepared for the auctions.  These auctions are set to happen over the next 5 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.

Now the next sale for the central Gulf of Mexico has been set for this June, and the sale will deal with drilling off Louisianan, Mississippi and Alabama's coasts.  Former Congressman Chris John, who now heads up the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association, was the only person to speak at the hearing.  John says the industry has implemented new post-spill standards, and in his belief, the government should encourage new drilling.