Contact: Jennifer Scott (202) 249-6512
WASHINGTON (July 21, 2014) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement after filing comments with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management regarding its preparation of the 2017-2012 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
"Responsible development of America's oil and natural gas resources is vital to U.S. energy security and economic prosperity. Unfortunately, natural gas production on federal lands has fallen steadily, down 43 percent from FY 2003-2013, largely due to government policies restricting access: Only 13 percent of OCS acreage is open to development. No other developed nation puts comparable constraints on its own energy resources.
"With offshore access and development growing across Canada and Latin America, the U.S. risks losing jobs, leasing revenue and technology to other countries if we continue to block OCS development. Opening new areas would signal that the U.S. is 'open for business.' And it would help ensure that access to natural gas supplies keeps pace with strong demand growth. In the power sector alone, natural gas use is expected to grow by more than 50 percent in the coming years.
"As an industry whose global competitiveness is closely tied to an abundant and affordable supply of natural gas, we support a five-year program that preserves all areas currently available for leasing, allows for leasing in new areas such as the Mid- and South-Atlantic and provides for scoping and contingent leasing of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
"We welcome last week's decision by BOEM to issue permits for seismic testing off the Atlantic coast, a step that could enhance understanding of America's potential oil and natural gas resources."