What They Are Saying About DOI's Five-Year Offshore Leasing Program!

As the Department of the Interior gets closer to announcing the proposed five-year offshore leasing program for 2019-2024, agency members and supporters across the Southeast are touting the technological advances in safety equipment, improved environmental protections, and substantial economic benefits that opening up additional areas in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf would bring to the country. Below are just some of the reasons Explore Offshore supports expanded offshore energy exploration:

“In 2018, OCS leases generated more than $5.2 billion in revenue for the Federal Treasury, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, and state governments. The overall level of activity on the OCS – including current production, drilling, and the development of new projects – is estimated to support approximately 300,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.” (Walter Cruickshank – BOEM: Comments to the House Natural Resource Committee, 3.6.2019)

“In recent years America has seen ever increasing levels of production offshore, with production levels reaching 10-year highs in 2018. Over that same year, BSEE inspected every platform, drilling rig, and non-rig unit on the OCS, which, in 2018, represented a six percent increase in inspections from 2016. … While production levels have increased over the past two years, the number of injuries and incidents, such as fires, have shown steady decreases when normalized to levels of activity.” (Doug Morris – BSEE: Comments to the House Natural Resource Committee, 3.6.2019)

“This is a much-needed, commonsense step for America’s energy future.  Energy security is national security, and domestic energy production is a key contributor to a healthy national economy.  Oil and natural gas are the key drivers of the world’s economies.  We remain vulnerable in an expanding global economy marked by ever-growing energy needs.  In its move toward an “all of the above” energy policy, America needs to correct a timeworn oversight and modernize the unnecessarily restrictive approach to the exploration and safe development of oil and national gas resources that lie offshore.” (Explore Offshore Chair and Former Senator Jim Webb, Explore Offshore Launch, 6.6.2018)

“Expanded development also would be an immediate economic benefit to coastal states and their residents even before the first barrel went to market. Safe offshore exploration could support close to 150,000 new jobs along the Gulf Coast, spur direct local investment by the energy industry and generate $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenue in Florida over the next two decades that could be used to improve roads, schools and other important infrastructure projects. In addition to boosting the economy, offshore development can help support environmental initiatives, such as coastal conservation. Florida could see $12.5 billion over 20 years cumulatively through a federal revenue sharing program similar to those already in place in other states. Under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, federal offshore revenues shared with natural gas and oil producing states support coastal resiliency, conservation and restoration projects from natural disasters.” (Jim Nicholson: Energy Exploration Backed by White House Benefits Florida and the Nation, Florida Daily, 2.28.2019)

“Virginia has much to gain from offshore energy exploration. If federal waters in the Atlantic are included in the five-year leasing program, Virginia could see $1.8 billion per year from industry spending and more than $1.5 billion in tax revenues within 20 years. This new tax revenue could be dedicated to transportation projects, environmental protection programs and to Virginia’s localities to fund schools, public safety and other important initiatives. Offshore development also would be a major job creator for Hampton Roads. According to studies, an estimated 25,000 new jobs could be supported by the expansion of the natural gas and oil industry into the Atlantic”. (Mike Watson: Assembly made right call on offshore work, Virginia Gazette, 2.26.2019)

“North Carolina stands to greatly benefit from thousands of new jobs, private investment, and subsequent state and local tax revenues that would follow from the Atlantic being included in the program…Our longer coastline would give us access to more of the projected resources in the outer continental shelf. Offshore development could create nearly 56,000 jobs, and contribute over $3 billion a year in annual spending within two decades. Beyond the economic benefits, these additional resources could contribute significantly to a state whose economy is so heavily reliant on affordable energy. Opening additional offshore territories for energy development is a long-term national investment in securing the energy and economic outlook for our future.” (Nat Robertson: Offshore drilling would bring jobs to NC, Raleigh News & Observer, 3.1.2019)


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