Offshore leasing program lacks vision, does not reflect U.S. energy leadership
“The United States needs forward-looking energy policy,” said Finkel. “The U.S. has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world thanks to development that has taken place mostly on private and state lands. At the same time, thanks to industry efforts, methane emissions are down significantly as well as carbon and other air emissions, all while energy production has been going up.”
Today, 87 percent of federal offshore areas remain off limits to oil and natural gas production. The Department of the Interior removed the Atlantic portion of the leasing program during the draft portion of the program development earlier this year, leaving only offshore Alaska as the area with the most potential for new oil and natural gas resources. However, the plan is not yet finalized, and leasing areas have not been confirmed.
“Leaving out offshore Alaska would put the U.S. at a serious global competitive disadvantage, considering that Russia, Iran, Norway and other countries are moving rapidly to develop oil and gas resources,” said Finkel. “We must continue to think ahead, explore and develop new areas to protect U.S. energy security for generations to come.
“American consumers, American businesses and future generations need energy programs from the Interior Department to align with today’s energy realities.”
API thanked Congress for focusing on the important issues surrounding energy and the Department of Interior’s 5-year plan.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.