Jane Van Ryan
Posted February 19, 2010
It's time to add some common sense to the debate over offshore energy development. The benefits are obvious: More domestic energy, more jobs, a much needed boost to the economy without depending on government spending, improved U.S. energy security, and fewer U.S. dollars being sent overseas to purchase oil from other countries. At a time when the unemployment rate continues to hover just below 10 percent and American families are worried about their futures, now is the time to open more areas to energy development.
But don't take it from me. Instead, consider the wise words of Gary P. Luquette, President of Chevron North America Exploration and Production Co. In a blog post at the Huffington Post, Gary disagrees with President Obama who said recently that this country must make "tough" decisions about offshore development:
"When it comes to respectfully developing America's abundant oil and natural gas resources--including areas in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)--there's nothing tough about this decision. We should be developing America's Outer Continental Shelf, and we should be doing it now. It's a huge win for America."
Gary explains that offshore development could provide more than one million barrels of oil or oil equivalent each day to the U.S. economy, accounting for about one-fifth of today's domestic energy production. He adds that exploration and production need not threaten the environment:
"The same capability that allows us to operate in the Gulf's extremes--in over 10,000 feet of water, for example--also safeguards our people and the environment. Advances in technology provide tremendous benefit, but that's reinforced by how we operate. Even if a soft drink can accidentally fell overboard, we'd report it. We know that our ability to operate in the rest of the OCS depends on doing things in a responsible and sustainable way. We take this responsibility very seriously."
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.