The offshore oil and natural gas leasing program proposed by the Obama administration puts America’s energy competitiveness at risk, API President and CEO Jack Gerard told reporters yesterday as the government kicked off a series of public meetings on the proposal around the country.
“America has a chance to be the world leader in energy now and for decades to come,” said Jack Gerard. “But the opportunity could slip through our fingers if the government keeps 87 percent of offshore waters closed to oil and natural gas leasing.
“Studies show we could create 840,000 new jobs and raise more than $200 billion for the government if oil and natural gas development is allowed in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
“By ignoring major energy-rich areas, the administration is turning its back on American workers. In the Atlantic, the government proposed just one lease sale for the next five-year cycle. Secretary Jewell was quick to say even that may be canceled. Exploration and production in Alaska is also being restricted both on and offshore.
“This is America’s energy moment. But the moment will pass unless our government leaders allow more exploration and production of our abundant oil and natural gas resources.
“Consumer benefits are being driven by increased domestic production. To keep these benefits in the future, we must plan for the long-term today.
“Let’s seize the opportunity in front of us and secure America’s position as the world leader in energy and job creation.”
API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.