Posted November 1, 2017
A sensible, safe and forward-looking offshore energy strategy – one that acknowledges that keeping 94 percent of federal offshore acreage off limits to responsible development risks U.S. energy security – underscores the need for reliable scientific data to establish the size and location of offshore oil and natural gas reserves, through safe seismic testing. Every other discussion about where offshore development may occur in the years ahead is premature until the resource base is known. In this context, a recent claim that U.S. military priorities and offshore energy development in the Atlantic Ocean are mostly incompatible is just plain silly.
Posted August 18, 2017
Here’s the case for expanded opportunity within a new offshore oil and natural gas leasing program that federal officials are assembling: Safely developing American oil and natural gas on the outer continental shelf (OCS) is vital to the United States’ long-term energy and national security; we need new access to offshore areas, such as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Including them in the federal five-year plan will allow surveying to determine the location and size of oil and gas reserves; safe oil and natural gas production on the OCS could significantly boost local, regional and state economies; and advanced technologies, strong industry standards and a robust regulatory system work effectively together to protect workers, communities and the environment.
Posted July 21, 2017
Posted April 28, 2017
Posted April 27, 2016
BOEM’s DC meeting that followed others this month in New Orleans, Houston and a number of localities in Alaska, was an information smorgasbord. They had a video overview of the methodology in developing the leasing program that will guide offshore energy development from 2017 to 2022. They also had a number of tables with printed handouts, where BOEM staffers were available to talk about topics ranging from protected species to the human environment to acoustics in the water.
I asked a staffer if it was possible that someone knowing little to nothing about offshore energy and leasing could wander into BOEM’s meeting, watch the video, absorb the information handouts, talk to BOEM representatives and then submit an informed comment on the leasing proposal. “Yes,” he said. Neat.
BOEM had a number of laptops set up to receive electronic comments. I submitted mine the old-fashioned way, writing them out longhand on a form. I labored to print legibly.
Certainly, BOEM has been meticulous in developing its proposed leasing program. The final version that will come out early next year will say a lot about U.S. energy leadership and vision and the future of American energy. That’s how critically important our offshore reserves are.
Posted March 23, 2016
The Obama administration’s decision last week to eliminate the Atlantic from the next federal offshore leasing plan is a step backward for American energy policy. Despite bipartisan support in Congress and from voters in coastal states, the administration is doubling down on a shortsighted policy that keeps 87 percent of federally controlled offshore acreage off limits to energy exploration.
Expanding access to America’s energy resources – both offshore and onshore – is vital to our future energy security and economic growth.
Posted March 15, 2016
With the Obama administration’s decision not to include the Atlantic in the next federal offshore leasing program, let’s connect some dots that put this unfortunate decision in a fuller context – one where the administration is choosing retreat instead of progress with its energy strategy.
First, America’s energy revolution is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that has put this country on a path toward economic growth, consumer benefits, environmental progress and a more secure energy future. Yet, omitting the Atlantic from the five-year leasing program that will largely guide offshore development from 2017 to 2022 is retreat, not progress, in efforts to produce more energy right here at home.
It’s the wrong path for America – a path also defined by administration policies that have resulted in declining oil and natural gas production on federal lands, an onslaught ofunnecessary regulation and continuation of the harmful Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It’s a path that has made energy infrastructure development more problematic, a path that will negatively impact American households and one that could see the U.S. become less secure and less competitive in the world.
Posted March 14, 2016
When BOEM releases its final program, perhaps this week, watch the Atlantic. A decision to keep the Atlantic lease sale in the five-year plan will say volumes about the administration’s view of offshore energy development. Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations, joined representatives of two other organizations on a conference call with reporters to discuss the next leasing program:
“The possible benefits for developing oil and natural gas off of the Atlantic coast are numerous. The most promising areas for development run all the way from the coasts of Maine to Florida. Official government figures project the possibility of nearly 5 billion barrels of oil and over 37 trillion cubic feet of gas contained by this section of the Atlantic Shelf. This is American energy security, American jobs, U.S. government revenue and American GDP tied up by political red tape. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, stuck, off limits to future generations as it waits for forward-looking energy policy.”
Posted March 9, 2016
Offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is set to reach a record high next year, according to new projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). By the end of 2017, production is projected to reach 1.9 million barrels per day, accounting for 21 percent of total U.S. crude oil production.
That represents a crucial contribution to America’s energy security, economy and global energy leadership. Imagine if we doubled it. Opening areas in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico could lead to production of more than 3.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day – almost twice the amount EIA projects we’ll hit next year in the western Gulf alone.
Posted March 2, 2016
Last year, when federal officials released the proposal for the next five-year offshore drilling plan, we said the draft had some positive aspects but fell short of the kind of strategic offshore planning that would adequately serve America’s role as an energy superpower. We also noted strong support for offshore development by mid-Atlantic states, where operations could occur under the draft plan.
Fast-forward to this month, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) expected to reassess a plan that would be the blueprint for offshore energy development from 2017 through 2022. The need for a robust offshore leasing plan remains critically important – and the plan should retain the single Atlantic lease sale that was included in BOEM’s draft.