Help us stand up for Alaskans by submitting your comments. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a call for public comments on a new draft five-year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas leasing plan that would replace the current program that was crafted by the Obama administration and excluded most of the Alaska OCS, including the Arctic, from future exploration.
The Trump administration’s Draft Proposed Program (DPP) calls for 19 of 47 lease sales in federal waters off Alaska coasts beginning in 2019 and ending in 2024.
President Obama had removed 94 percent of the acreage that had been available for offshore leasing and this DPP proposes to do the opposite.
Action Requested: Please submit comments supporting the proposed lease sales in the Arctic and Cook Inlet. Including at this stage the most prospective areas of the OCS for potential oil and gas discovery is consistent with advancing the goal of moving America from simply aspiring for energy independence to attaining energy dominance.
Points to consider for your comments:
- The potential oil and gas resources that may be made available as a result of this DPP are fundamental to America’s energy security in the coming decades. The 2019-2024 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Plan will provide the foundation for the nation’s energy supply into the middle of this century.
- Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas form one of the most prospective basins in the world. Together, these areas are estimated to hold over 24 billion barrels of oil and 133 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
- Despite a surge in U.S. oil production in recent years, the U.S. still imported nearly eight million barrels per day last year to meet domestic needs.
- Offshore development would serve to help maintain the integrity of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), a critical link to America’s energy distribution. TAPS has safely transported more than 17 billion barrels of oil since it came online over 40 years ago.
- Twenty-eight years ago, North Slope oil production exceeded two million barrels a day, which accounted for a quarter of domestic crude oil production. However, TAPS throughput has now declined to approximately 528,000 barrels per day. Given the vast resources available in the Arctic OCS, future production could stem the decline, allowing for TAPS to remain viable for decades.
- Excluding the Alaska Arctic from future lease sales would severely compromise the long-term energy and economic security of Alaska and the nation.
- The Arctic’s untapped resources are of critical importance to both Alaska and the United States. Oil and gas development in the Arctic OCS is predicted to produce an annual average of 35,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next half century for Alaska alone. Those jobs would represent a total payroll of over $70 billion.
- From an economic standpoint alone, promoting and fostering Arctic OCS development would represent a windfall for the national economy. Revenues generated from Arctic OCS oil and natural gas production could amount to $200 billion to federal, state and local governments.
- Industry has shown that impacts to marine mammal subsistence activity can be avoided and mitigated through close cooperation and communication with primary subsistence users. Newly instituted technologies will further ensure that development and environmental protection can coexist in the Arctic.
- Leasing and subsequent Arctic OCS exploration and development would bring much-needed infrastructure to the region and would also provide additional response capabilities in an area where shipping and other activities are increasing.
- Major investments in research in the Arctic OCS over decades by industry, government, and academia will provide a strong platform for responsible development that minimizes risks to other resources.
- Over 72% of Alaskans have supported offshore development.(Consumer Energy Alliance poll, October 2014)
- BOEM lease sales provide some level of predictability and certainty for industry to engage in long-term strategies to develop the Arctic’s vast resources.
- Oil and gas development in the Arctic OCS could ultimately prove indispensable, given forecasts that predict this nation’s energy demands increasing over ten percent in the next quarter century. Even with dramatic increases in alternative energy sources, the majority of these growing energy demands will continue to be satisfied through use of fossil fuels.
ACTION ALERT: New Five-Year OCS Lease Sale Draft Plan
Resource Development Council