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Proposed five-year plan takes a step backward, limits future U.S. energy production

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2012 ─ API Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito today described the Interior Department’s new five-year offshore leasing plan as a continuation of the administration’s discouraging pattern of delay and unnecessary restraint. He said that it is particularly disappointing given that the recent successful lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrated the industry’s commitment to investing in American made energy:

“Today’s proposal will not allow us to realize the full benefits from safe and responsible development of America’s oil and natural gas resources, continuing a pattern of delay and unnecessary restraint. For example, this plan pushes back the 2015 Beaufort lease sale, where leasing has already occurred, and makes more areas off limits than it makes available.

“A sensible long-term strategy would embrace and promote expanded oil and natural gas exploration and development to create new jobs and secure critical energy supplies for future generations.

“Exploring and developing new areas that offer oil and natural gas gives the United States the golden opportunity to create an additional one million new jobs and billions in new revenue to our government in just seven years. We cannot reach these goals by constricting exploration and obstructing the safe and responsible development of American energy resources.

“We must move past policies that undermine the mission of supplying Americans with the energy they need. While vitally important, the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico areas included in this proposed offshore program are not ‘new’ areas. We look to the administration and Congress to begin working on a new plan that opens areas in the Eastern Gulf, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, such as offshore Virginia and South Carolina, where we continue to see bipartisan support for new offshore leasing.”

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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