Posted June 10, 2009
Yesterday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 13 to 10 in favor of opening the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for additional oil and natural gas leasing.
By allowing greater access to leasing in promising areas of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Senator Dorgan's amendment stands to strengthen our economy and help the American people by creating new jobs, adding new energy resources and providing new revenues to federal, state and local governments.
The Dorgan provision provides access to the Destin Dome area--a proven natural gas field--which because it is located near existing pipelines and plants, could allow supplies to be brought to market in relatively short order.
Destin Dome by itself contains at least 2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas--enough to heat 2 million homes for 15 years--while the potential resources in the entire Eastern Gulf of Mexico are estimated at 3.7 billion barrels of oil and 21.5 Tcf of natural gas.
This amendment represents an important common-sense approach to energy policy, especially with demand for natural gas expected to grow as the nation seeks to meet our growing energy needs while addressing global climate challenge.
Still, continued discussion is necessary to ensure that coastal states are given a portion of the revenues associated with oil and gas development offshore. That production will benefit all Americans in terms of revenues, additional jobs and greater domestic energy supply.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.