Rigzone, Friday, June 26, 2015
The federal government is currently in the midst of a highly-impactful process to determine which areas it will make available for offshore oil and gas leasing between 2017 and 2022, including whether to maintain lease sales in the Alaskan Arctic and whether to expand leasing opportunities to the Mid and South Atlantic for the first time since the early 1980s.
The positive impact of encouraging domestic oil and gas production has been clear over the past few years. First, it has allowed the U.S. to make foreign policy decisions without the fear of petro-states such as Venezuela using their “oil weapons” in retaliation against U.S. foreign policy. Second, consumers are already benefiting significantly from increased domestic production. The Energy Information Administration expects the typical American family to save ~$700 on gasoline this year, providing a significant economic stimulus at no cost to the government or taxpayer.
As the Interior Department moves forward with developing its offshore leasing strategy for 2017-2022, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of comments that have already been submitted in support of increased offshore access, it is noteworthy that recent polling continues to reflect strong majority support for expanded offshore drilling from voters in states as varied as Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire. From individuals and families to truckers, farmers, and manufacturers, among many others, energy consumers across the country are paying close attention, knowing that the outcome of this process will help determine the trajectory of our nation’s energy and economic security well into the next decade.
While the critical process of determining which areas will be made available for leasing plays out over the next year, there is another related, time-sensitive and vital process underway that will determine (1) whether decisions on leasing in the Mid and South Atlantic in particular will be well-informed and (2) whether more economically and environmentally efficient activity will take place if leasing in this region is indeed allowed.
Consumer Energy Alliance a trade group representing energy consumers. CEA provides consumers with information on U.S. and global energy issues. CEA members comprise a range of sectors from the energy industry, academia, small businesses, conservation groups to travel-related industries.