API: “Well past time” for Department of Interior to finalize five-year federal offshore oil and gas leasing program

American Petroleum Institute March 29, 2023

(WO) – The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued the following statement on today’s offshore lease sale mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act from API Vice President of Upstream Policy Holly Hopkins:

“While today’s lease sale is a belated but positive step toward a more energy-secure future, it should not take an act of Congress to get us to this point. Continued production in the Gulf of Mexico is essential for delivering the energy the world needs while supporting lower carbon goals, but U.S. energy producers need certainty from policymakers in order to meet the growing energy demand. It is well past time for the Department of the Interior to finalize a five-year program for federal offshore leasing that will empower U.S. energy producers to meet the needs of consumers here at home and around the world.”

It has been 279 days since the Department of the Interior allowed the five-year program for federal offshore oil and natural gas leasing to lapse with no immediate replacement. Delay and uncertainty over the next offshore leasing program has put the U.S. in the unprecedented position of having a substantial gap in between congressionally mandated leasing programs for the first time since the process started in the early 1980s.

Recent evidence shows that the Gulf of Mexico is best positioned to deliver the energy the world needs while supporting lower carbon goals. Even the Biden administration has acknowledged the risks of forgoing future lease sales with a recent environmental analysis from Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management concluding that not developing U.S. offshore resources could increase emissions [from more imports], raise prices and lead to a greater reliance on foreign energy sources.

In addition to the environmental benefits of continued offshore leasing, a lapse in the federal offshore leasing program could jeopardize American energy security, cost thousands of jobs, and risk billions in lost federal, state and local revenues, according to recent analysis by Energy and Industrial Advisory Partners.

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