For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 14, 2023
NOIA Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bipartisan Momentum Builds for Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program
Washington, D.C. – National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Erik Milito issued the following statement after six Democrats in the House of Representatives, led by Representative Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland urging the completion of the next federal offshore oil and gas leasing program:
“NOIA expresses our gratitude towards Congressman Gonzalez and his fellow Members of Congress for pushing for the timely completion of the next federal offshore oil and gas leasing program. The reinstatement of consistent and predictable offshore oil and gas lease sales is paramount, safeguarding against potential disruptions to future offshore wind opportunities during this pivotal juncture for the industry. Sound energy policy stands as a cornerstone of our nation's prosperity and should always serve as a unifying issue.”
About the Issue
Offshore oil and gas and offshore wind have always been interconnected. Both represent intricate marine construction endeavors, requiring unique expertise and experience within the marine environment. The very companies that have pioneered the offshore oil and gas industry are now at the forefront of the emerging American offshore wind sector. It is paramount to recognize that the well-being of these companies holds the key to the prospects of both offshore oil and gas and wind energy. However, the absence of regular offshore oil and gas lease sales casts a shadow of uncertainty on their future.
Federal law mandates the occurrence of a substantial offshore oil and gas lease sale in the year preceding any new offshore wind lease award. Regrettably, we are on the brink of yet another hiatus in offshore oil and gas lease sales. While the Interior Department is expected to unveil the next leasing program this month, it's disconcerting to note that they have confirmed the commencement of pre-lease sale environmental assessments only after the program's release. Typically, these processes run concurrently, and their completion can extend up to two years.
Without swift action from the Administration, the gap in oil and gas lease sales will inevitably translate into a gap in offshore wind leasing.
The imperative for resuming offshore oil and gas leasing extends far beyond economic vitality. It intersects with issues of national security, environmental stewardship, and our overall national well-being. As the Administration aligns its vision with offshore wind energy, it's paramount that it also recognizes the manifold reasons to reinstate regular offshore oil and gas leasing and ensure that we do not miss out on future offshore wind sales at what is a critical time for the industry.
The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) represents and advances a dynamic and growing offshore energy industry, providing solutions that support communities and protect our workers, the public and our environment.