Latest Offshore Plan Closes the Door to New American Energy Opportunities

News Media Contact
Neal Kirby /
202.857.4722 / 800.433.2851

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and CEO Barry Russell released the following statement on the next stage of the Obama Administration’s proposed five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program for 2017-2022:

“Offshore energy production has and will continue to be integral to America’s energy future – for good-paying jobs, national energy security, and billions of dollars in much-needed revenue to local, state and federal treasuries. Investing in offshore production allows American families to continue enjoying the benefits of low energy prices, keeping more of their hard-earned money.

“As innovative technologies, environmental protections, and worker safety continue to improve, we must look at the long-term approach. America’s abundant energy resources are the envy of the world. Why keep these plentiful resources, which are still needed for years to come, off limits? Federal minerals belong to every American – not just the President, Interior Secretary, and extreme activists.

“Closing the door to new areas of development, including the already-planned Atlantic waters, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and even Alaska’s waters, in turn closes the door to more American jobs and opportunities for our economy. This plan will make our nation less competitive, limit our geopolitical advantages abroad, and force us to be more reliant on foreign sources of oil from volatile regions of the world.

“The United States should have the most viable options on the table today. Even if the offshore industry were able to explore along the East Coast, it would be a multi-year process with all the proper planning and environmental controls in place. Instead, the Obama Administration today chose to reverse course and place additional restrictions on these offshore areas, which takes these opportunities off the table until at least 2022 and likely beyond. This further deters investment and removes the flexibility that America needs, should the international situation change a few short years from now.

“America needs a robust offshore energy program that opens up vital new areas and best utilizes the energy-rich resources we have right here at home, balancing thoughtful environmental protections and the tremendous economic and consumer benefits that come along with it.”

America’s independent producers account for 61 percent of U.S. offshore energy production, support more than 200,000 jobs, and, each year, send more than $10 billion in additional revenue to the United States Treasury. In August 2014, IPAA, the American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), and eight other energy trade associations submitted comments calling on the Obama Administration to fully evaluate and consider all offshore areas for their development and economic potential.

About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.