Aug 1, 2023 American Energy Trades Letter to President on Offshore Leasing
Dear Mr. President:
The undersigned trade associations, representing every aspect of the American offshore oil and natural gas industry, strongly urge the Biden Administration to finalize a new National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (five-year leasing program) that includes the 11 lease sales proposed in the Proposed Program released on July 1, 2022, and to begin pre-leasing work now so that the Interior Department can start holding sales in 2024 without any additional delays.
U.S. offshore oil and natural gas production is fast approaching yet another period of extended uncertainty that could negatively impact American energy security. Though the administration has committed to issuing a new five-year offshore leasing program by the end of September, it already is a year and a half late because the previous program expired in June 2022. Additionally, the Proposed Program includes an unworkable option to hold zero lease sales.
Time is running out to avoid significant consequences that could result from a prolonged gap in federal offshore leasing and production in the years ahead. The last sale mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Lease Sale 261, is scheduled for September 27, so even if the administration’s finalized program includes new sales, the ability to hold a sale in 2024 grows harder every day unless pre-leasing steps are taken now. …