Affordable and Reliable Offshore Energy is a Benefit to Floridians
Posted August 15, 2018
Increased access to America’s offshore natural gas and oil would bring far-reaching benefits to coastal states, and the entire country. This is precisely why the diverse, bipartisan “Explore Offshore” coalition gathered today in Florida: because the strategic interests of Florida and our nation are tied to responsible development of offshore natural gas and oil.
Explore Offshore is an effort by more than 100 local leaders, community organizations, businesses and associations from five Atlantic and Gulf Coast states to increase offshore exploration and access. (See some of the news coverage of the launch here, here and here.)
At today’s event, the first coalition gathering in the state, Explore Offshore national co-chair Jim Nicholson, who served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs during the George W. Bush Administration, joined Florida co-chairs, Dr. Miriam Ramirez and Former Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp, to tout the benefits of increased offshore access. Nicholson:
“Our American way of life and the freedoms we enjoy are undoubtedly linked to access to affordable, reliable energy. At the same time, 94% of America’s offshore energy resources are completely off-limits to natural gas and oil development, disallowing hundreds of thousands of American jobs and abundant domestic energy supply, and keeping us reliant on foreign sources."
Today’s offshore exploration and development are safe, well-regulated and compatible with other offshore activity – including that of our military – and accessing domestic offshore natural gas and oil resources would help supply reliable, affordable energy for all Floridians. Ramirez:
“We can support thriving tourism industries here in Florida all while developing offshore energy resources that could create high-paying jobs in our state. We cannot take access to reliable, affordable energy for granted.”
Offshore development in the federal waters off Florida’s coast is projected to create more than 56,000 jobs by 2035 and could result in more than $2.6 billion in private investment per year in state revenues. Development of these offshore energy resources can contribute not only to U.S. energy security but to Florida’s own economic future.
Florida is one of the largest energy consumers in the United States and is the nation’s third largest consumer of motor fuels and third largest consumer of electricity. In addition, two-thirds of Florida's net electricity generation is fueled by natural gas – almost all of which is imported from other states. By accessing the resources of Florida’s coast, the state could supply the energy needed to support its increasing population. Kottkamp:
“Affordable energy is critical to the quality of life in the Sunshine State. We are speaking with our local leaders throughout Florida to discuss ways to maintain our state’s natural beauty and meet the energy needs of our growing population of over 20 million residents and 110 million annual visitors.”
U.S. natural gas and oil production plays a vital role in enhancing the security interests of our nation and our allies, growing the local and national economy, and contributing to the communities in which we live. Explore Offshore supports offshore energy exploration and production because it helps supply safe, reliable energy for American consumers, small businesses and manufacturers. Florida and our other coastal states rely on accessible and affordable energy every day, and responsible offshore development is the key to an energy secure future for all Floridians. Nicholson:
“As we plan ahead as a country, access to our offshore energy resources is a key part of the nation’s economic future and national security, and that is why I am pleased to chair the national Explore Offshore USA coalition. Uniting supporters from Virginia to Florida, we will continue to work to ensure access to our offshore energy resources to support reliable, affordable energy, boost national security, and assure a strong United States economy.”
About The Author
Jessica Lutz is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. Jessica joined API after 10+ years leading the in-house marketing and communications for non-profits and trade associations. A Michigan native, Jessica graduated from The University of Michigan with degrees in Communications and Political Science. She resides in Washington, D.C., and spends most of her free time trying to keep up with her energetic Giant Schnauzer, Jackson.
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