National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi, issued the following statement supporting the Atlantic Offshore Energy Caucus’s call for the Department of the Interior's retention of proposed Atlantic lease sale:
“I am pleased that the Congressional Atlantic Offshore Energy Caucus has reinforced their support for oil and gas exploration and production off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia by calling on Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to keep the proposed Atlantic lease sale in the 2017-2022 OCS (US Outer Continental Shelf) oil and gas leasing program. NOIA members also strongly support the proposed lease sale in the Atlantic OCS, an area which has not been included in a leasing program since the 1980’s. In fact, over 85% of the outer continental shelf has been shuttered to exploration for decades. It is time that this decades-old ban is lifted.
“Opening new offshore areas for energy development could provide substantial benefits to all Americans, especially those who reside in the Atlantic states. In fact, one study shows that opening the entire Atlantic OCS could (by 2035) create more than 280,000 jobs annually, generate more than US$51 billion in new revenue for the government, contribute more than $24 billion per year to the US economy, and add more than 1.3 MMboe/d to domestic energy production.
“Offshore energy development is not a partisan issue. House and Senate Democrats and Republicans and a majority of the American public have expressed their support for the safe exploration and production of America's offshore energy resources. Furthermore, for decades in the Gulf of Mexico and other places around the world, energy development, conservation efforts, and other industries -- be it tourism, commercial or recreational fishing, or others -- have not only coexisted, but thrived alongside each other. We have no reason to expect a different outcome in the Atlantic.
“NOIA joins in the message of the Atlantic Offshore Energy Caucus and strongly urges Secretary Jewell and BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) to keep all areas currently in the DPP (Draft Proposed Program) in the next proposed version of the program, including the proposed Atlantic lease sale 260.”