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API: Offshore Energy Moratorium is ‘Wrong Approach at the Wrong Time’

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WASHINGTON, September 8, 2020 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the Trump administration to extend the moratorium on the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (EGOM) and expand it to the South Atlantic.

“Extending the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and expanding it to the South Atlantic is the wrong approach at the wrong time. Offshore access is critical for growing U.S. energy leadership and providing affordable energy for American families for decades to come,” API Vice President of Upstream Policy Lem Smith said. “A ban on responsible energy development in the Eastern Gulf and the South Atlantic puts at risk hundreds of thousands of new jobs, U.S. energy security advancements and billions of dollars in critical revenue for states. It also restricts the primary funding source for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, America’s largest federal conservation program. Our industry has proven again and again that responsible development and environmental protection aren’t mutually exclusive, and we are deeply disappointed that the administration has taken this action.”

Recent studies by Calash show that offshore oil and natural gas leasing in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and Eastern Gulf of Mexico could contribute billions of dollars to state economies including:

  •  An additional $4.5 billion to the Florida economy within 20 years.
  • $5.9 billion in new revenue for the government within 20 years after initial leasing along the Atlantic OCS.
  • $2.5 billion per year to South Carolina's gross domestic product.
  • $350 million per year to Georgia's economy.

A ban on the offshore access in the Gulf of Mexico also limits the potential of additional funds that could be generated by a potential state and federal revenue sharing arrangement. If enacted, Florida could see a 37.5 percent share of the Eastern Coast bonuses, rents and royalties generated which are projected to reach $1.3 billion per year within 20 years, with cumulative effects totaling $11.7 billion.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 members produce, process and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.  

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