NOIA Statement on Interior’s Indefinite Delay of New Five Year Program
Washington, D.C. – National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement after Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said development of the new Five Year Program is delayed:
“The Secretary’s statement certainly raises one eyebrow, but a further review of the Five Year Program under development due to a recent lower court decision regarding Alaska offshore access was not unexpected. While there is no firm guess on what “indefinitely” means, it clearly indicates we won’t see a draft plan tomorrow, nor did we expect to. However, Interior should still evaluate the option of moving ahead with a proposed plan, with the caveat that the areas that are affected by the previous withdrawal could be excluded from an eventual sale. A hard stop negates months of environmental and economic analysis that could be used to move the plan forward. Again, this is not a final plan, it is a proposed plan.
“While litigation can take unexpected twists and turns, it is important to note that the offshore energy industry is finally starting to recover. U.S. offshore investments are even outpacing shale, but there is a very real chance that companies will decide to invest billions of dollars into other foreign offshore energy markets free from litigious activism.
“What cannot be delayed, however, is the importance of domestic production to meet the growing demand for affordable, reliable American energy. While Democratic presidential candidates are bowing to Keep It in the Ground activists, California is launching yet another an investigation into the state’s exorbitant gasoline prices (Californians paid close to $10 billion for premium-priced Saudi crude oil during 2018) and New England stayed warm this winter as residents relied on imports of Russian LNG. It is clear that the high-energy prices and policies of California and New England should serve as a real a warning to what happens when rational energy policies that promote domestic development are abandoned.
“NOIA will continue our advocacy work in educating regulators, legislators, the public and other stakeholders on the benefits of safe and reliable energy access. We are hopeful that there is a path forward in developing an offshore plan with Secretary that secures America’s energy future.”
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 250 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.