The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia yesterday issued an order which advised the Interior Department that the court's April decision -- which vacated Interior's 5-year leasing program (2007-2012) and remanded the matter back to Interior for reconsideration -- applies only to lease offerings in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi Seas off the Alaska coast. This clarification eases fears held by Interior and others, including Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), that the April decision would derail the upcoming August 19 Gulf of Mexico lease sale, as well as cloud the continuing validity of some 1,800 previously awarded Gulf of Mexico leases.