GEST Comments on Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan
The Gulf Economic Survival Team today commented on the House Natural Resources Committee’s mark‐up of H.R. 6082, a bill that seeks to replace the President’s “Five‐Year Plan” for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas leasing.
“We applaud Chairman Hastings for leading the charge to generate more robust offshore energy activity in the next five years,” said Lori LeBlanc, Executive Director of the Gulf Economic Survival Team. “As the Chairman understands, offshore energy production is a complex endeavor that necessitates years of planning and upfront capital investment. If the Gulf energy industry is to bear fruit in years to come, the seeds have to be planted today – beginning with a robust menu of potential leases to develop.
“The Obama administration’s tepid five‐year plan illustrates its continuing ambivalence about offshore energy production,” continued LeBlanc. “The plan’s failure to open up new tracts along the U.S. east and west coasts – coupled with limited offerings in the Alaskan OCS – will keep Americans reliant on overseas energy supplies well into the future. Perhaps the administration’s approach is not surprising in light of the continuing inefficiencies found in the regulatory process in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Our own experience tells us that offshore production creates jobs, propels economic activity and directs revenue to the U.S. Treasury. A stream of academic studies bear this out. And, as we’ve seen today, a host of lawmakers also understand these fundamental dynamics. Let’s hope that the administration one day overcomes its reluctance to embrace the economic and energy security engine that offshore energy activity can provide,” concluded LeBlanc.