GOP senators express support for new OCS management program

Thirty-six Republican US senators said they strongly support development of a new US Outer Continental Shelf resource management program for the 2019-24 period. “We encourage you to carefully review those areas that were not included in the 2017-2022 Five-Year Program to ensure that opportunities are not missed,” they said in a July 26 letter to US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke.

Thirty-six Republican US senators said they strongly support development of a new US Outer Continental Shelf resource management program for the 2019-24 period. “We encourage you to carefully review those areas that were not included in the 2017-2022 Five-Year Program to ensure that opportunities are not missed,” they said in a July 26 letter to US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke.

Ninety-four percent of the federal OCS currently is not available for oil and gas leasing, noted Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) who initiated the letter which the other GOP senators signed.

“Offshore development has undergone rapid technological innovation ensuring it is cheaper, safer, and provides access to previously out-of-reach areas,” the group wrote. “Offshore leasing benefits the economies of all of the states, helps reduce the federal deficit, provides affordable energy to families and businesses, and strengthens our national security.”

They urged Zinke to start working soon to assure that the US adequately plans for a future of stable and steady offshore projects since oil and gas projects there have long lead times.

An American Petroleum Institute official welcomed news of the senators’ letter to the secretary. “Developing our abundant offshore energy resources is a critical part of continuing the US energy renaissance, and we will continue working with Congress and the administration on policies to help keep energy affordable for consumers,” API Upstream Director Erik Milito said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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