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What They Are Saying: Interior: Time to Support American Energy Security, Economic Strength with 5-Year Offshore Program

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WASHINGTON, October 7, 2022 – Yesterday, ahead of the comment deadline for the Department of the Interior’s proposed 5-year program for offshore leasing, hundreds of thousands of stakeholders, community leaders, grassroots advocates and individual citizens called on Interior to open offshore acreage to safe and environmentally responsible American energy development. As geopolitical volatility continues to disrupt global energy markets and American consumers and our allies abroad increasingly look to domestic producers for energy security, these stakeholders and community leaders spoke up in support of a strong federal offshore leasing program that will allow U.S. producers to meet growing energy needs.

What They Are Saying:

Frank Macchiarola, Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs at the American Petroleum Institute: “The solution to the growing energy crisis is right here in the United States, and U.S. policymakers should be doing everything in their power to produce more energy here in America. It is beyond time for a comprehensive energy policy that ensures access to domestic resources; encourages investment opportunities; and strengthens energy security, affordability, and reliability. A robust offshore leasing program would be an important step.”

Cole Ramsey, Vice President of Upstream Policy at API: “The U.S. is now a global leader in both energy production and emissions reductions, thanks to the innovation and vitality of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. The ability of U.S. producers to provide more oil and natural gas supplies to the world market has also changed geopolitical dynamics for the better, resulting in greater energy security for the U.S. and its allies, in addition to global environmental benefits. Given current global circumstances, rarely has a strong offshore leasing program been more essential to our energy security.”

Tommy Faucheux, President of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association: “Leaving open the option to hold zero future lease sales puts U.S. energy security at risk and compromises U.S. producers’ ability to provide affordable, reliable energy to the American people. Unneeded lapses such as what we have seen this year in long term planning create uncertainty for the small communities across Louisiana that depend on Gulf of Mexico energy production. As geopolitical tensions rise and energy costs increase, it is more important than ever that we have the right policies in place to support American-made energy produced here at home, creating operational certainty to spur continued investment and innovation.” 

Marty Durbin, President of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute: "With analysts predicting a return to high oil and natural gas prices this fall and winter, businesses are bracing for even more pressure. While we recognize that policies supporting increased production won’t solve our challenges overnight, it will send important market signals that could help unlock investment, helping avoid long term supply shortages and elevated prices."

Emily Haggstrom, Vice President of Communications and Creative Development at the Consumer Energy Alliance: “It’s curious that the Biden administration, instead of calling on U.S. companies, for months has been offering OPEC+ a deal to buy 200 million barrels to refill the SPR if they did not cut production. The administration continues to look elsewhere when the solution has always been here at home. The Biden administration should view Gulf of Mexico leasing through the lens many prior administrations have - as the fastest way to boost supply and deliver to Americans the enormous economic value of affordable, reliable energy. It should be a no-brainer in economic, national security and environmental terms - and we urge the Biden administration to seize this moment.”

Erik Milito, President of the National Ocean Industries Association: “Energy prices remain stubbornly high, the global economic outlook is uncertain, and our allies need an alternative to higher-emitting Russian-produced energy. U.S. offshore leasing provides vast benefits for Americans of all walks of life. The diversity of individuals, businesses, civic groups, elected officials, and organizations submitting comments in favor of a strong domestic production is testament to how the U.S. offshore, and the Gulf of Mexico in particular, shines as an economic and energy wellspring characterized by low carbon emissions. The benefits of the U.S. offshore are felt far beyond the Gulf Coast.”

Tamara S. Maddox, Regulatory & Legal Affairs Manager at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association: “Alaska’s economy is dependent on sustainable energy production. The oil and gas industry accounts for one-quarter of Alaska’s jobs, and Alaskans represent 84 percent of primary company total employment. The industry funds critical public services across Alaska, and it generates $19.4 billion toward the state’s gross domestic product. Rather than setting counterproductive policies against oil and gas production, the administration must strengthen our energy security and maintain our role as a global energy leader by supporting domestic oil and gas production.”

Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber: "Energy security and competitive prices have continued to set the U.S. apart as an economic superpower. As a center for manufacturing and emerging technology, it is especially important to our region that the Administration act to ensure energy access, affordability and reliability to keep our competitive advantage."

Archie Chaisson, President of Lafourche Parish: “The news about a new 5-year plan is exciting for us here in Louisiana and especially Lafourche Parish. This is a great step forward in becoming energy independent and taking care of our economies and the men and women who work in the energy industry every day. We produce oil and gas cleaner than anywhere else here in the Gulf of Mexico and it’s time we get back to work. Now it is time for the administration to act swiftly and fully implement the plan with all 10 Gulf of Mexico lease sales.”

Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry: "The world needs safe, affordable energy and thankfully America has plenty of it. It’s time to get America back in the game and the perfect place to start is the Gulf of Mexico. We know that producers along the Gulf Coast supply nearly 15 percent of our nation’s oil production, over 2 percent of our nation’s natural gas production and are capable of doing so much more. We need the administration and Congress to stop tying the hands of our domestic energy producers at a time in which energy prices are rising and inflation remains at historic levels. America has the tools and resources, particularly right here in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast, to maintain our position as a global energy leader. It’s time to flip the switch on American energy and allow our energy creators to do what they do best."

Sharon Hewitt, Louisiana Senate Majority Leader: “With a predictable and robust offshore leasing program, energy companies will invest in the new technologies required to develop our untapped reserves, providing long-term energy security for our country. Successful exploration projects offshore Louisiana will help lower future gasoline prices for our citizens and provide critical funding to restore and protect Louisiana's disappearing coastline. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Chett Chiasson, MPA, Executive Director at Port Fourchon: “The Greater Lafourche Port Commission is pleased to see BOEM’s proposal to conduct 11 lease sales over the next 5-year period and urges the Department of the Interior to finalize the proposal. The U.S. has been a leader in the development of research, technology, labor, and production of offshore energy development. This industry provides the educational and training foundation to support a variety of jobs in the energy sector, which contributes to maintaining a quality of life in the United States. It is vitally important to maintain the certainty of continued investment in the offshore energy sector, for which the foundation is BOEM’s 5-year lease plan, which will meet not only the energy demands of every American, but also provide a level of economic activity necessary for our country to continue to prosper.”

Thomas Bracken, President and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce: "New Jersey companies need access to oil and natural gas in order to maintain our diverse economy. Oil and natural gas play an important role in everything from chemicals to pharmaceuticals to manufacturing, all of which are important industries in our state. Limiting domestic production of these resources at this critical time is not what is needed."

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.


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