February 2019 Newsletter

While short, February proved to be a busy month for the Explore Offshore coalition! We are continuing to grow and engage communities in local events in coastal states. We are also ramping up our advocacy in anticipation of the release of the proposed 5-year offshore leasing program. It’s an exciting time where your support for more well-paying American jobs and greater U.S. energy security could be especially impactful!

Show Your Support for Offshore Energy!

With a decision looming from the federal government about what geographic areas should be included in the final National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program (2019-2024), it’s time for supporters of offshore energy exploration and development to make our voices heard.

What They Are Saying

Federal policymakers and supporters across the Southeast are touting the technological advances in safety equipment, improved environmental protections, and substantial economic benefits that opening additional areas in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf would bring to the country. Read what they are saying about the Administration’s Five-Year Offshore Leasing Program.

Take Action!

If you support American energy and the boost it gives the U.S. economy, consider contacting your elected officials to ask them to include important offshore areas in the program. It’s vital that the federal plan is responsive to America’s future energy and economic needs. Click here to send a letter to your state and federal officials:

As part of our advocacy, the Explore Offshore coalition’s leadership sent delegation letters to state and federal lawmakers in support of including both the Atlantic and additional areas of the Gulf of Mexico in the federal program.

Florida Delegation Letter
North Carolina Delegation Letter
South Carolina Delegation Letter
Virginia Delegation Letter

For more information on the new OCS energy development plan, read our recent blog post.

Coalition Co-Chairs’ Close-up!

Learn from the coalition leadership why opening federal waters to offshore energy is good for America. Check out new videos where they share the details:

On the Blog: Offshore Energy Productions Funds U.S. Conservation through LWCF Reauthorization

Did you know that America’s offshore natural gas and oil production provides significant federal revenue streams to fund water conservation programs, wildlife habitats, national parks, and outdoor recreational projects through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)? After taxes, energy revenue disbursements are often the second-highest federal revenue generator, and they fund important conservation programs across the nation.

Last week, Congress voted to permanently reauthorize the LWCF, and the bill is now headed to the President’s desk. During the past 50 years, Florida alone has received over $1 billion in federal funding to invest in into conservation efforts of the state’s unique natural habitats and wildlife.

LWCF could raise millions of additional dollars for conservation and outdoor recreation projects if additional offshore areas are opened to natural gas and oil production.

Check out our latest blog post to learn more about how responsible offshore energy development and efforts to conserve America’s natural beauty and wildlife are not mutually exclusive.

Explore Offshore Co-Chair Spotlight: Jeff Kottkamp

Meet Jeff Kottkamp, the Explore Offshore coalition’s Florida Chair! He believes that access to new and affordable sources of domestic natural gas and oil is critical for Floridians to maintain their quality of life and bring much-needed, high-paying jobs to a state that is expected to add nearly 6 million residents by 2030.

Kottkamp is a practicing attorney who previously represented the state of Florida as its 17th Lieutenant Governor (2007-2011). During his time as Lieutenant Governor, Kottkamp was chairman of Space Florida and played an integral role in bringing Space X, a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company, to the state.

Kottkamp is a fierce advocate for protecting Florida’s natural beauty and the livelihoods of coastal communities. He strongly believes that any new offshore natural gas and oil production can be done safely and responsibly, while at the same time co-existing with the region’s other industries such as fishing and tourism.

Kottkamp knows that taking full advantage of the country’s offshore energy resources in federal waters is a smart economic and energy policy. As he wrote in the Gainesville Sun, “By supporting the development of U.S. offshore energy resources, Florida can help expand economic benefits of the U.S. energy renaissance.”

Recent Events

  • Rotary Club of Norfolk with VA Chair Mike Watson in Norfolk, VA, 3/5/19.
  • Henrico County Republican Party Breakfast with VA Chair Mike Watson in Richmond, VA 3/2/19.
  • Veterans Education Series Meeting in Orlando, FL, 3/1/19.
  • Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium with VA Chair Mike Watson in Richmond, VA, 2/22/19.
  • Lexington Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting with SC Petroleum Council Director Mark Harmon, SC, 2/20/19.
  • First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event in Jacksonville FL, 2/19/19.
  • API Legislative Briefing with NC Petroleum Council Director David McGown in Raleigh, NC, 2/11/19.

Earned Media List, “Energy Exploration Backed by White House Benefits Florida and the Nation,” By Explore Offshore National Co-Chair Jim Nicholson, 3/1/19.

The News & Observer, “Offshore drilling would bring jobs to NC.” By North Carolina Chair Nat Robertson, 3/1/2019.

The Virginia Gazette, “Assembly Made Right Call on Offshore Work,” Letter by Explore Offshore VA Chair Mike Watson, 2/26/2019.

Wilmington Star News, “We Need Seismic Testing,” Letter by Coalition Member Hunter Ford, 2/14/2019.

Florida News Online, “President Trump Makes Right Moves on Domestic Energy Production,” by Sam Mullins, 2/8/2019.

Till Next Time

As a member of Explore Offshore, you have played a role in helping us get our message of responsible energy development and energy security out to key audiences. We thank you for your continued support, and we will be in touch soon!

Categories: Newsletter