“This long anticipated rule provides at least some certainty, consistency and reliability for offshore oil and gas production in the resource-rich Arctic region. Energy exploration is a highly regulated process with a ten to twenty year lead time but even the Administration’s own EIA recognizes that the majority of our energy in that time will still come from traditional sources like oil and natural gas. Opponents of oil and gas may point to the low price of fuel as a reason to stop any and all production in Alaska, but that would be short sighted and naïve at best while icing the dream of an America not reliant on foreign oil.
“While the United States has greatly increased its oil and natural gas production, that increase has been overwhelmingly on state and private lands. We are hopeful that following a thoughtful dialogue with industry experts during the comment period, the final rule will encourage more production on Federal lands offshore Alaska, which will benefit consumers and the people of Alaska.
“America will soon assume the chairmanship of the Arctic Council and the question will be then as it is now: Is America ready to be a leader in the Arctic for generations to come and what do we want our legacy to be? Will we continue to lag behind other countries such as Russia, Canada and Norway, all countries that have drilled or plan to explore Arctic waters?
“Rules that take years to make tend not to reflect the best and newest technology being developed and used by industry on a daily basis. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and its members will take advantage of the comment and review period to offer recommendations that ensure this regulation is robust and sensible now and in the future. My hope is that we do not freeze American opportunity, jobs and our future prosperity and economic security in both the lower 48 and the Arctic.”