Independent oil and gas producers condemn taking 80% of federal offshore lands out of drilling plan
The Obama Administration’s finalized five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program, which sets the lease sale schedule for 2017-2022, is drawing heavy fire from energy industry associations.
In Sept., the Independent Petroleum Association of America joined the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, the Arctic Energy Center, and a coalition of groups supportive of responsible resource development in launching a major campaign calling on the Obama Administration to keep intact Arctic leasing areas contained in the draft proposed five-year plan.
“This final offshore plan places more than 80 per cent of offshore federal lands, including the already-planned Atlantic waters, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and even Alaska’s energy-rich waters, off limits for future development. The United States needs more energy, specifically oil and natural gas, to meet its future demands, according to the Obama Administration’s own energy data agency,” said IPAA CEO Barry Russell.
“Instead, this administration is abandoning America’s energy potential and is threatening our role as a global energy superpower. This final offshore program raises serious questions as to why this administration, at the 11th hour, chose to ignore recommendations by its own energy data agency.”
Earlier this summer, the US Energy Information Administration predicted the nationwide demand for oil and natural gas will continue to grow over the next 24 years.
Just this month, predictions by the International Energy Agency forecasted that worldwide oil consumption would not peak before 2040.
America’s independent producers account for 61 per cent of US offshore oil and natural gas production, support more than 200,000 jobs and send annually more than $10 billion in additional revenue to the United States Treasury.
“Make no mistake, taking American offshore energy resources off the table for the next five years will eliminate well-paying jobs and reduce the billions of dollars in much-needed revenues that go to fund schools and road repair projects in local communities. Most importantly, locking up our offshore energy supplies will cause U.S. energy prices to rise, limiting the amount of hard-earned wages American families get to keep each month,” said Russell.
In June 2016, IPAA joined the American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), and six other energy trade associations in submitting joint comments urging the Obama Administration not to take additional unwarranted steps to further reduce the areas included in its proposed offshore oil and gas leasing program for 2017-2022.
“The administration should allow more access to our vast energy resources, not less. It’s disappointing that this administration, with just two months left in office, has chosen to take the low, politically-motivated path and dictate the nation’s offshore program for the entirety of President-elect Trump’s four-year term,” said Russell.
IPAA and ten other industry trade associations also submitted comments in Aug. requesting that the Obama Administration fully evaluate and consider all U.S. offshore areas for their development and economic potential.