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API cites jobs & geopolitics in call for U.S. to open new areas to offshore oil and gas development

Brian Straessle | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, August 13, 2014 – API released comments today urging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to consider all Outer Continental Shelf areas for inclusion in the government’s offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2017 – 2022.

“Expanding opportunities for U.S. offshore energy production would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, raise billions of dollars for the government and strengthen America’s international diplomacy and national security,” API Senior Policy Advisor Andy Radford told reporters on a conference call. “As the government works on the next leasing program, it should examine all areas with the potential to generate jobs and new revenue by advancing America’s energy renaissance.”

American voters – including majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents –support offshore drilling and increasing U.S. oil and natural gas production, according to recent polling by Harris Poll. However, most voters do not think the federal government does enough to encourage the development of oil and natural gas resources in the U.S.

“Decisions the government makes now will impact our economy and our ability to exert diplomatic influence for decades,” said Radford. “Opening new offshore areas to exploration and development could empower the U.S. and our allies by shifting the geopolitical balance.

“To remain a global energy superpower, the U.S. must continue to explore for and produce new domestic supplies of oil and natural gas. We urge BOEM to keep existing areas available for leasing and include new areas in the Atlantic, Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.”

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.