The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Last Chance

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 21, 2009

Today is your last chance to write to the government to support the Five-Year offshore drilling plan. At the close of business today, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) will end the public comment period, tally the emails and letters, write a report on its findings, and help the Secretary of the Interior decide whether to implement the government's offshore drilling plan.

The plan identifies existing and new offshore areas that could be opened to leasing. If it moves forward, leases in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific could be made available to the highest bidders in a lease sale. Only then can companies explore for oil and natural gas in leased areas--and if commercially viable quantities are discovered--start producing energy.

The United States needs all of the energy it can get. So far this year, the country has imported 64 percent of the oil used every day. While there is a role for renewables and alternatives, they are not going to supplant oil and natural gas for many years to come. 94 percent of our transportation system runs on oil and without it, the economy would grind to a halt.

As numerous polls have shown, most Americans favor offshore development. Yet, as API President and CEO Jack Gerard said today, "...the administration repeatedly has slow-pedaled this plan which would benefit all Americans. New oil and gas development could create thousands of jobs, add over a trillion dollars to government coffers, strengthen America's energy security and encourage our economic recovery."

America needs oil. It has an abundance of its own oil. It has the expertise and technology to drill for oil and natural gas safely. The Secretary's decision should be a no-brainer but unfortunately, it's not that simple. It's critically important for everyone who supports offshore drilling to send a comment to MMS.

Visit the Action Center and urge Congress and MMS to expand access to offshore resources, and do it now!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.