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API: Removing the Arctic from next five-year offshore leasing plan weakens America’s energy security

Reid Porter | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2016 – The Department of Interior’s decision to remove the Arctic from the next five-year plan governing offshore lease sales weakens America’s energy security and puts us at a competitive disadvantage, according to API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

“Today’s announcement is a short-sighted decision that ignores America’s long-term energy security needs,” said Gerard. “Our national energy security depends on our ability to produce oil and natural gas here in the U.S., and this decision could very well increase the cost of energy for American consumers and close the door on creating new jobs and new investments for years. We are hopeful the incoming administration will reverse this decision – consistent with the will of American voters.

“Keeping the Arctic off limits to development also puts the U.S. at a serious competitive disadvantage. Russia has been actively exploring in the region, and military experts warned earlier this year that removing the Arctic from the leasing plan would ‘signal retreat, needlessly reducing U.S. flexibility for promoting our national interests and our ability to ensure international cooperation.’ And it would forego research and exploration of the world’s largest remaining conventional, undiscovered oil and natural gas resources at a time when it remains important to implement a long-term vision for America’s strategic energy future.

“The majority of American voters support increased production of U.S. oil and natural gas, yet this administration made the detrimental decision to take an important opportunity for future production off the table, along with hundreds of thousands of potential jobs and tens of billions of dollars in government revenue. We need government to embrace the energy renaissance instead of continuing to drag its feet on developing our domestic resources. A forward-looking energy policy can further help American consumers and business, boost the economy, and strengthen our national security.”

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 625 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.