API: Removing Eastern Gulf from OCS 5-year plan is premature

January 10, 2018

WASHINGTON, January 10, 2018 – API President and CEO Jack Gerard released the following statement on Interior Secretary Zinke’s announcement to remove the Eastern Gulf of Mexico from the recently released five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing plan.

"This announcement is premature. Americans support increased domestic energy production, and the administration and policymakers should follow the established process before making any decisions or conclusions that would undermine our nation's energy security. The ability to provide affordable energy for consumers and meet the growing domestic and global demand depends on the ability to safely and responsibly explore and develop our offshore energy resources, including in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

"The Gulf of Mexico is the backbone of our nation’s offshore energy production and restricting access to the Eastern Gulf puts hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk across the country and along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. Not only that, but securing reliable sources of energy helps fuel other industries like tourism, especially in states like Florida that relies on more than 200 million barrels of gasoline and diesel each year to fuel its economy.

"The fact is offshore operations are safer today than ever before. Advanced technology, safety standards, best practices, and regulations are designed to protect workers, the environment and marine life. Since 2010, more than 100 standards were created or strengthened, including for improved safety and environmental management, well design, blowout prevention, and spill response to ensure we have the best protections and highest safety measures in place. And not only have offshore operations coexisted successfully with industries like commercial and recreational fishing and tourism for decades, but our industry and the U.S. Department of Defense work together to ensure all offshore operations take place without any impact to existing or future military activities."

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.

Read press release at API.org.

 

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