The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) joined with the American Petroleum Institute (API), the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC), and the U.S. Oil and Gas Association (USOGA) in sending the following letter to leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee urging Senate consideration on an alternative 2012-2017 OCS Leasing Plan that would include new offshore access:
Dear Chairman Bingaman and Senator Murkowski:
With House passage last week of an alternative five year leasing plan for offshore access, and the last remaining days with Congress in session before the expiration of the 60 day congressional review period under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, we are encouraged by bipartisan support for legislation that would facilitate offshore access to new areas. We write in support of these efforts and it is our hope that it will lead to Senate consideration of this issue before the Congress recesses and the review period expires.
Our country has benefited from enormously positive economic news generated as a result of strong increases in oil and natural gas activity on non-federal lands. This development has been a boon to the country, and to these local communities in particular, in the form of significant new job growth, new revenues generated for state treasuries and other local community needs, and new domestic supplies of energy. In contrast, because access to the abundant oil and natural gas resources of the OCS is determined entirely by federal policy, in order to unlock similar new economic benefits from the OCS, the federal government must act to allow new access to be granted. Consequently, we are disappointed that the 2012-2017 Proposed Final OCS Leasing Plan allows for no access to new areas of the OCS and leaves this potential in the OCS on the sidelines at a time where these benefits to the economy are so desperately needed. This is a tremendous missed opportunity that we hope might be remedied by legislation within the congressional review period that will open up the door to new jobs, new energy, and new revenues for federal and state treasuries.
We stand ready to work with you and your colleagues in the Senate to help facilitate passage of legislation that will make the benefits of increased activity in the OCS a reality.
The signed letter is available here: http://www.noia.org/website/download.asp?id=53463