The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is currently in the process of updating its Five Year Program. As part of this process, offshore stakeholders once again have the opportunity to provide input for consideration. The development process for the 2017-2022 program was formally launched a few weeks ago when BOEM issued a Request For Information (RFI). The RFI is subject to a 45-day public comment period that concludes on July 30. It is critical that the BOEM hear from a broad array of offshore stakeholders whose activities are affected by their actions, and who depend on an expansive 2017-2022 Five Year Program. I personally will be sending the following letter, and I encourage you to do the same. Letters can be sent to the address below.
If you prefer to send online, you can feel free to use the body of my letter and copy/paste it into the relevant fields here.
It is important that BOEM hear from all stakeholders who will be affected by their policy decisions in the coming years. More information about BOEM’s Five Year Plan and how it affects our industry can be found at http://www.noia.org/offshore-energy/access/.
Hear is my letter to BOEM...
July 23, 2014Ms. Kelly Hammerle
Five Year Program
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (HM-3120)
381 Elden Street
Herndon, VA 20170
Subject: Request for Information and Comments on the Preparation of the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program
Dear Ms. Hammerle:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the preparation of the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Expanded access to responsible development of our offshore oil and natural gas resources is vitally important to the United States’ energy security and economic prosperity.
I therefore support a Five Year Program that not only comprises all areas currently open for leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska, but also allows for leasing in new areas where the true potential of resources is currently unknown, particularly in the Mid- and South-Atlantic. Similarly, I support inclusion of the eastern Gulf of Mexico for consideration of future leasing should the current ban be lifted.
I understand that in 2013 the U.S. offshore accounted for nearly 20 percent of our domestic oil production and over five percent of our domestic natural gas production. This significant contribution was despite the fact that offshore access is restricted to just 13 percent of the OCS. In other words, nearly 90 percent of the offshore areas which I and my fellow citizens own are off limits to even looking for potential resources. I am not aware of any other developed nation that so profoundly restricts access to their coastal resources. America is experiencing an energy renaissance, and opening new offshore areas would add to this momentum and further establish ourselves as a global energy leader.
Here at home, new offshore access equates to new jobs, new investments, and new revenues. These benefits can be obtained safely while protecting our environment. Industry and the government have collaborated in recent years to enhance abilities to deal with a potential spill and to foster a strong industry safety culture.
In closing, I reiterate my strong support of a 2017-2022 Five Year Program that includes all areas currently available for leasing, allows for leasing in new areas such as the Mid- and South-Atlantic, and provides for potential leasing in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.