API: Proposed OCS leasing program is good first step
WASHINGTON, November 8, 2011-BOEM's announcement of a proposed 2012-2017 five-year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program and the associated Draft Environmental Impact Statement was welcomed by API Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito:
"Moving forward with the proposed 2012-2017 five-year OCS leasing program is a good first step," said Milito. "However, this is a missed opportunity to open additional areas that could have helped address rising energy demand, create American jobs and reduce the federal deficit.
"There is significant public support for policies that expand our domestic energy development, diversify our energy sources, and advance energy technologies. We hope that many more lease sales will follow in the Gulf and in Alaska. And we urge the administration to reconsider its decision to exclude other offshore regions, such as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, offshore Virginia, and elsewhere off of the Atlantic Coast, from lease sales until 2017. Taking these areas off the table at this stage could impede the nation's drive toward enhancing both its economic and energy security.
"Opening these areas could create additional jobs, enhance our economic growth and energy security, and create a national energy policy that our country needs. Unfortunately, the proposed plan falls short of this approach."
The proposed program will have sales scheduled in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico and the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Cook Inlet in Alaska. No sales are scheduled for the Atlantic, Pacific, or Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
"Despite our disappointment with this trimmed down leasing program, we will continue to seek more robust offshore lease sales in the future. We are confident such sales will highlight the industry's ability to develop American resources responsibly while spurring the economy," said Milito.
API represents more than 480 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.