NOIA calls for long-term leasing policy

The National Ocean Industries Association is urging the US Minerals Management Service to create a long-term energy policy. MMS earlier this month asked industry for input on a new 5-year plan for the federal offshore oil and natural gas leasing program. The plan will determine where and when companies can lease parcels of ocean lands on which to explore and produce for the years 2002-2007.


The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) is urging the US Minerals Management Service to create a "viable" long-term energy policy. MMS earlier this month asked industry for input on a new 5-year plan for the federal offshore oil and natural gas leasing program.

The plan will determine where and when companies can lease parcels of ocean lands on which to explore and produce oil and natural gas for the years 2002-2007. NOIA said MMS "must carefully examine" the option of including areas in the 5-year plan that have been subject to moratoria in the past�areas likely to contain hydrocarbons that can be found and harvested in a manner "consistent with our nation's highest environmental standards."

NOIA said, "The tightness of the current energy market and the distinct possibility of grave shortages in the near future dictate that the MMS leave open the possibility that the moratoria may be reconsidered in the next five years, and include these areas in the 5-year plan. To do otherwise would rob the MMS of the flexibility necessary to properly address our rapidly changing energy needs."

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