Posted April 30, 2015
It’s noteworthy that there’s bipartisanship in Congress on offshore energy development. Last week a group of Republican U.S. House and Senate members signed onto a letter urging the Interior Department to increase access to energy reserves on the nation’s outer continental shelf. It follows a March 26 letter from Virginia’s two Democratic senators and a March 27 letter from a dozen House Democrats supporting offshore energy development.
Bipartisanship in Washington is quite a rare bird, so it’s significant to see it form around the need to develop domestic offshore energy.
Equally important: Strongly worded concern from the most recent letter’s signers that the draft 2017-2022 plan for oil and natural gas leasing offered by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not be weakened by removing any of the leasing areas in the proposal.
Posted February 17, 2015
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is scheduled to hold a public hearing today in Wilmington, N.C., on its draft five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program. According to a study by Quest Offshore Resources, developing oil and natural gas on the North Carolina outer continental shelf could bring significant benefits.
These include 55,000 jobs in the state by 2035 and nearly $4 billion in revenues for the state’s budget by 2035, with revenue sharing in place.
Posted February 9, 2015
Let’s hope public hearings on the Obama administration’s draft offshore oil and natural gas leasing program – starting this week – help spark serious discussion of how the nation’s offshore energy reserves will be managed in the near future. Needed is greater public awareness of just how limited the administration’s approach is, reflected in a draft plan that simply doesn’t go far enough.
We say public awareness because the administration has been able to foster the perception that it favors more oil and natural gas development and energy infrastructure when, in fact, its policies have done little to support that development (did somebody mention the Keystone XL pipeline?).
In the case of offshore energy development, it’s important to move the administration toward a plan that actually increases access to reserves. The draft plan for offshore leasing for the 2017-2022 time period is less than meets the eye, offering just a single Atlantic lease sale in 2021 as part of the five-year program, which Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said could be withdrawn as the leasing plan process evolves. That’s not a balanced approach, that’s an attempt to manage the perceptions game.
Posted January 29, 2015
Offshore energy is getting lots of attention this week, which is good. Offshore energy is vital to America’s economy and energy security.
This week the Interior Department proposed the first draft of its next five-year program for offshore oil and natural gas leasing, in the 2017-2020 timeframe. While the draft plan doesn’t go far enough, it could include the first Atlantic lease sale in decades, and that would be a positive step. Meanwhile, on Thursday the federal government is scheduled to hold a lease sale for offshore wind in the Atlantic.
All of the above …
That’s more than a rhetorical flourish. America will need energy from all available sources in the future – thus the case for a genuine all-of-the-above strategy. We hope this week’s wind sale is successful.
Energy isn’t a zero-sum game, and neither is energy job creation. Offshore energy development of any kind can generate jobs and raise significant revenue for government. The country benefits and so do individual Americans – you know, folks holding the middle-class jobs everyone wants to support.
Posted October 8, 2014
Energy already is generating benefits for North Carolina and its economy, and things could get a lot better with the right oil and natural gas policies in place – an important point as North Carolinians get ready to vote in a U.S. Senate race that has national implications.
Advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling could get under way early next year with the finalizing of state rules for safe and responsible development.
This fits with recent polling showing that strong majorities of registered North Carolina voters support increased domestic oil and natural gas production, including 91 percent who say more production could lead to more U.S. jobs and 89 percent who say more oil and gas could help stimulate the economy.
Posted August 4, 2014
Members of the U.S. House and Senate are weighing in with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on the administration’s new five-year oil and natural gas leasing program, and the message is fairly simple: open more of the outer continental shelf (OCS) for exploration and development.
Interior has begun work on the new leasing program that will cover 2017 to 2022. The plan is critical to offshore development because it lists areas where the federal government could hold auctions for oil and natural gas drilling leases. It lets energy companies know where to concentrate research efforts that guide bids on specific lease blocks. Currently, 87 percent of the offshore area under federal control is closed to development.
Posted July 23, 2014
There are three connected points in a new poll of registered U.S. voters on domestic oil and natural gas development that should resonate in Washington: Strong majorities of registered voters support more domestic drilling and production, they don’t think the federal government does enough to encourage development of domestic resources and they’re inclined to vote for political candidates who support oil and natural gas development here at home.
AP Upstream Group Director Erik Milito talked about the survey of 1,012 registered voters and issues related to increasing access to domestic oil and natural gas reserves during a conference call with reporters:
“Voters from across the political spectrum want to find and tap the vast oil and natural gas resources waiting to be discovered off our shores. Our industry stands ready to do the job safely and responsibly, and the benefits to our economy and our national security are impossible to deny. All the federal government needs to do is say, ‘Yes.’”
Posted July 16, 2014
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has newly revised resource estimates for the Atlantic outer continental shelf (OCS). Are you sitting down?
BOEM now believes areas within the 200 nautical mile U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone off the Atlantic Coast, from Maine to Florida, could hold 4.72 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil and 37.51 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas. Those numbers are 43 percent and 20 percent higher, respectively, than the last government estimate of the Atlantic OCS done in 2011.
Posted June 16, 2014
With the Interior Department turning its attention to the next five-year offshore leasing plan, here’s a figure to keep in mind: 87 percent. That’s how much of our federal offshore acreage is off limits for energy development – and it’s costing us energy, jobs and economic growth.
Andy Radford, API senior policy advisor, set out some of the arguments for increasing access to energy reserves in the next five-year leasing plan during a conference call with reporters.
Posted March 19, 2014
This week’s central Gulf of Mexico lease auction, which saw oil and natural gas companies pledge more than $850 million in winning amounts, certainly helps support the United States’ status as an energy superpower. Developing more of our own oil and natural gas – and this week’s auction is a big step toward production – makes our country more energy secure, creates jobs and boosts the U.S. in global energy marketplace.
The potential benefits from future energy production from this week’s auctioned leases – jobs, economic growth and revenue for government – also suggest a couple of “what ifs”: What if the federal government included the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in its next five-year leasing plan, the first step toward development in those areas? What if the U.S. opened more of the eastern Gulf to exploration and development?