Senate Democrats call for expanded leasing in next OCS 5-year plan

Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) and three other US Senate Democrats urged US Sec. of the Interior Sally Jewell to consider leasing more of the US Outer Continental Shelf for oil and gas exploration and development in the next 5-year program.

“We believe the [Department of the Interior] should move forward with a 5-year program that continues to lease currently open areas, but also allows for the consideration of exploration for all areas with reasonable potential for future resource development,” Landrieu said in a July 31 letter to Jewell, which also was signed by Sens. Mark Begich (Alas.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and Mark W. Warner (Va.).

They noted there is strong bipartisan support from members of Congress, governors, state legislatures, local leaders, and the general public for allowing oil and gas development on more areas of the OCS.

“Robust offshore energy development should also provide equitable distribution of revenues to states supporting that production—especially those who currently do not benefit from revenue sharing and royalty payments—which will allow for much-needed coastal protection and resiliency efforts and for necessary related infrastructure investments,” Landrieu wrote.

All but Manchin are running for reelection in November.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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