NOIA Applauds First Step Toward New 5-Year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program

For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 29, 2017
Contact: Nicolette Nye, (202) 465-8463, nicolette@nullnoia.org

NOIA Applauds First Step Toward New 5-Year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program

Washington, D.C. – National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on DOI’s Request for Information (RFI) on new 5-Year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program:

 “Kudos to President Trump, Secretary Zinke and his team at the Department of the Interior for the forward-thinking decision to begin work on a new five year offshore oil and gas leasing plan.  It is the right thing to do and Energy Week is the right time to do it.

“The Request for Information (RFI) is just the first step in a multi-year process that will involve several rounds of public participation from stakeholders, including local communities, as well as several layers of environmental review.  It is also important to note this launches a process to determine a future leasing schedule, NOT a future drilling schedule.  Future decisions on possible drilling must undergo their own series of public and environmental reviews.  Similarly, any future efforts to actually produce offshore oil and natural gas will be subject to yet another round of similar review.  Today’s conversation is about assessing our options going forward, not about making any final decisions.

“A five year leasing plan is the most definitive policy action an Administration can take regarding our country’s offshore energy development.  Because the federal government completely controls the vast resources of the outer continental shelf (OCS), the five year plan is a greater measurement of an administration’s policy decisions than current energy development seen in abundance on state and private lands elsewhere in this country, which are largely outside the scope of federal decision making.

“The energy resources on the OCS are vital to the nation’s economic prosperity, and polls have repeatedly shown that most Americans want more energy to be produced domestically, including looking for more oil and natural gas resources off our shores.  Opening more offshore areas for exploration would mean more jobs, new economic activity, increased energy security and the continued march towards U.S. energy dominance.

“The 2017-2022 outer continental shelf (OCS) leasing plan is one of the most energy damming actions taken in the last few years in that it actually reduced the offshore area available for potential exploration to an unprecedented low. As a result, 94% of our offshore areas are closed to any and all exploration for new sources of oil and natural gas.  It appears that no other country with an offshore oil and natural gas program has closed so much of its offshore acreage. The Department of Interior now has the opportunity to begin the process to change that precedent and unleash more American energy.

“NOIA looks forward to working cooperatively and enthusiastically with stakeholders, including states, local communities, and consumer groups, and with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to provide information about what areas to include in a new five year plan. NOIA will also continue to work closely with Congress on legislation to identify areas to include in the new program and improve the process for planning, exploring and developing our OCS resources for generations to come.”

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ABOUT NOIA

NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf.  NOIA’s mission is to secure reliable access and a fair regulatory and economic environment for the companies that develop the nation’s valuable offshore energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The NOIA membership comprises about 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance, and renewable energy.