The Obama administration’s recently released draft proposed offshore oil and gas leasing program slams the door on industry and prevents America from sharing in the economic growth, new jobs and increased energy security that offshore oil and gas activity in new offshore areas would provide, NOIA President Randall Luthi told reporters today.
“Today’s public scoping meetings begin a new opportunity and challenge for the offshore energy industry. With one hand, the draft proposed program appears to support increased job, economic, and energy opportunities for America by opening up the mid and south Atlantic areas for further analysis and a possible lease sale. But with the other hand, the DPP slams the door on industry and on new jobs, increased economic activity, added revenue, and strengthened energy security that exploration and development of other new offshore areas would provide for America.
“This draft program offers even fewer sales than the current program, adds questionable limits such as the 50 mile buffer zone off the Atlantic, reduces the areas available for further analysis in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, and omits other offshore areas from consideration altogether.
“The DPP effectively keeps about 87 percent of offshore areas locked away, and this has been the case for decades. Other countries like Canada, Mexico, Norway, Brazil and even Ghana are moving ahead with the exploration and development of new offshore areas, while the U.S. is falling behind.
“The Administration has missed the opportunity to include additional OCS areas in the draft proposed plan. We do look forward to increased opportunity in the Atlantic, but we are disappointed that so much of the outer continental shelf will remain locked up — without the possibility of finding out if there are valuable resources in those areas.
“Keeping in mind that areas excluded at any stage of the 5-year program development cannot be reinserted later, NOIA and our supporters are not going to miss the opportunity to engage during the scoping meetings and commenting period. We strongly urge BOEM to keep all areas currently in the DPP in the next draft version of the program, including the proposed Atlantic lease sale 260.”