NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal government is holding the first auction of offshore petroleum leases in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster last year, despite a lawsuit challenging the sale.
The Interior Department says bids will be opened as scheduled on Wednesday in New Orleans.
Four environmental groups are challenging a study used to clear the sale. But they aren't seeking a federal court order to stop the auction. Instead, an attorney has said a judge might decide later to throw out the results if he agrees with the suit.