Skip to main content

Jack Gerard's remarks at press briefing on BOEM’s offshore oil & gas leasing proposal

Press briefing on BOEM’s offshore oil & gas leasing proposal
Jack Gerard, API President and CEO
Monday, February 9, 2015

Opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Good morning,

America has a chance to be the world leader in energy now and for decades to come. But the opportunity could slip through our fingers if the government keeps 87 percent of offshore waters closed to oil and natural gas leasing.

Today, the government kicks off a series of public meetings around the country – starting in Fairbanks, Alaska and Washington, D.C. – to hear where people think offshore energy development should occur. But these meetings will only focus on the narrow confines of what the Obama administration proposed in late January.

Studies show we could create 840,000 new jobs and raise more than $200 billion for the government if oil and natural gas development is allowed in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

By ignoring the latter two areas, the administration has already turned its back on most of those jobs. In the Atlantic, the government proposed just a single lease sale in the next five-year program, and Secretary Jewell was quick to say even that may be canceled. Exploration and production in Alaska is also being restricted both on and offshore.

According to recent polls, voters in states from Florida to Virginia and across the country support offshore oil and natural gas development and want to produce more of these vital energy resources here in the U.S. The same polls show voters do not think the federal government is doing enough to reach that goal.

Voters have experienced firsthand at the gas pump the benefits of plentiful supply. We must maintain this momentum even as we pursue new markets abroad through exports. Access to the resource is key to both.

This is America’s energy moment. But the moment will pass unless our elected leaders allow more exploration and production of our abundant oil and natural gas resources both on and offshore.

Let’s seize the opportunity in front of us and secure America’s position as the world leader in energy.

Now, I’ll pass the baton to Randall Luthi with NOIA.