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Erik Milito's remarks at press briefing on studies of economic potential for offshore development in the U.S. Pacific Coast and Eastern Gulf of Mexico

Press briefing on studies of economic potential for offshore development in the U.S. Pacific Coast and Eastern Gulf of Mexico
Erik Milito, API upstream group director
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Thank you Randall, and good morning to everyone on the phone.

Randall is absolutely right about the untapped economic potential of opening new areas to safe and responsible offshore oil and natural gas development.

Looking at the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico together, opening these areas to offshore oil and gas development could by 2035 create nearly 840,000 new American jobs, grow our economy by up to $70 billion per year, and raise more than $200 billion in revenue for the government.

Our economic impact will be felt all over the country, with the greatest gains in the states along these coasts.

From the Eastern Gulf alone, Florida stands to gain 85,000 new jobs and almost $19 billion in revenue, with another 9,000 jobs and $1 billion coming from development in the Atlantic.

Along the rest of the Gulf Coast, the studies project employment gains of 21,000 jobs in Alabama, 12,000 in Mississippi, 31,000 new jobs in Louisiana, and 62,000 in Texas.

While California is expected to witness the largest employment growth along the Pacific Coast with 175,000 new jobs, Oregon and Washington stand to make significant gains as well.

And like Florida, these state governments could also see major revenue growth from offshore oil and gas development when Congress expands revenue sharing – and we do believe that is a question of when, not if.

The oil and natural gas industry is a rare bright spot in our economy, and the ability to safely develop new offshore resources is critical to America’s continued energy security and job growth.

Just last week, analysts with Wood Mackenzie predicted that U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico will peak and begin to decline by the year 2021. This forecasted drop in economic activity can be more than offset by the untapped potential of our Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf coasts. But the plans to do so need to be made now.

Polling shows that 70 percent of voters in this year’s midterm elections support offshore drilling, and 57 percent do not think the federal government does enough to encourage domestic oil and natural gas production.

The next offshore leasing program is an opportunity for the Obama administration to let those voters know their voices are being heard.

And with that said, Randall and I will now be happy to take your questions.