Template for submitting comments to the BOEM on the Proposed 5-Year Program for 2012-2017

Comment Now on the Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017!

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is currently accepting public comment on the Proposed 5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017.  

A new 5-year leasing program is the most significant decision the agency will make regarding new access to American offshore resources.  NOIA finds the lack of access to new areas in the Proposed Program deeply disappointing! 

It is important that the comment record collected by the agency reflect a strong expression of how more access to the OCS yields new jobs, new investment, new revenues to the Treasury, and new energy.

We strongly encourage our member companies to submit comments to BOEM. In addition, you may wish to ask your employees and retirees, your vendors, your friends, etc. to submit comments. In an effort to make it easy to prepare and submit comments, NOIA offers the following suggested comment letter to send to the Agency either online or by mail.

Comments are due to BOEM by February 8, 2012.


To submit by mail:  Copy and print a hardcopy of the below comment letter, label your envelope "Comments on Proposed 5-Year Program for 2012-2017" and send to:

Mr. Steven Textoris

5-Year Program Manager, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Room 3120

381 Elden Street

Herndon, VA 20170

 

To submit online:  Copy and paste the below comment letter into section 2 of the online comment form at regulations.gov, enter your information in section 1, and hit the submit button. 

General Information concerning the leasing program and Proposed Program can be accessed here.

 


Suggested Comment Letter

 

Mr. Steven Textoris

5-Year Program Manager, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Room 3120

381 Elden Street

Herndon, VA 20170

 

RE: Comments on Proposed 5-Year Program for 2012-2017

 

Dear Mr. Textoris:

 

I urge the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to approve a 5-Year Program for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing for 2012-2017 with the maximum access possible for additional oil and natural gas exploration and development.   A new 5-year leasing program is the most significant decision the agency will make regarding new access to American offshore resources.  An increase in the responsible development of offshore oil and gas resources spurs enormous positive economic and energy-related impacts, not only within the industry and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, but across a wide swath of industries stretching from coast to coast.

 

Our economy depends on the massive economic benefits of increased spending and new jobs that offshore energy production generates. These benefits are widespread and seen all across the Nation, as shown by the 2011 study from Quest Offshore, “United States Gulf of Mexico Oil and Natural Gas Industry Economic Impact Analysis.”  The study found that if the pace of oil and natural gas permitting in the Gulf of Mexico returns to and surpasses historic levels, the benefits nationwide could include:  190,000 jobs created by 2013, for a total of nearly 430,000; a 140% increase in capital expenditures by 2013 to $15.7 billion; and a 70% increase in spending by the offshore energy industry by 2013 to $25.7 billion of investment, with total contributions to the nation’s GDP being nearly $45 billion. Unfortunately, these figures are moving in the opposite direction, according to a recent follow-on study by Quest that shows capital and operating expenditures in the gulf actually plunged by $18.3 billion in 2010 and 2011. The study notes that 11 deepwater rigs have left the gulf since April, 2010, taking with them an estimated $21.4 billion through 2015, while also sending investment elsewhere to places like Brazil and Africa rather than in the U.S.  This decreased domestic investment reduced total US employment by an estimated 72,000 jobs in 2010 and 90,000 jobs in 2011, according to the study.

 

Thus, I am deeply disappointed that the Proposed Program does not include the broadest area of the OCS as possible, especially given the removal of long-standing Executive Withdrawal and Congressional Moratoria, which kept the majority of the OCS locked up for decades. Particularly disconcerting is the omission of a lease sale offshore Virginia. Despite strong bipartisan support for its inclusion from the Governor, the Legislature, both Senators, and a majority of the congressional delegation, Virginia is being denied the opportunity for a lease sale off its own shore.  

 

Our nation has vast oil and natural gas resources in the OCS that should play a critical role in meeting America’s future energy demand, providing jobs and fueling the economy. The Energy Information Administration states that our nation will continue to rely significantly on oil and gas for at least the next generation, and given global economic and population growth estimates, improvements in efficiency and growth in alternative energy sources will not be enough to meet our needs.  Thus, we will need to generate more energy, particularly here at home.

 

Our energy and economic realities demand swift implementation of the most robust five year program possible, as well as addressing permitting delays and regulatory uncertainty that have recently limited offshore exploration.  I strongly urge BOEM to not further reduce the scope of the 2012-2017 Proposed Program, and provide the maximum access possible, while increasing the pace of permitting to return and surpass historic levels.

 

Sincerely,