The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced four regional meetings to obtain public input on energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Secretary Ken Salazar has extended the comment period for the proposed 2010-2015 OCS 5-Year Oil & Gas Leasing Program Plan until September 23, 2009 to gather more information before moving forward. It is critically important that the Secretary and his Department hear from supporters of energy exploration and production on the federal OCS. They are sure to hear from opponents! We encourage you and/or others in your company to attend and speak out at one of these meetings, perhaps making the following points:
- Our economy and national security require less imported oil and more domestic energy production.
- Natural Gas is our cleanest fossil fuel and its use is good for the environment and an answer to the challenge of climate change.
- Abundant resources of natural gas exist on the federal OCS.
- This gas can be found and produced cleanly and safely as proven by the offshore production industry’s outstanding safety record. The risk of environmental damage is very, very, small.
- Coastal states should be able to decide on energy exploration and production off their coasts and share in production royalties.
- The OCS offers the potential of some $1.7 Trillion in potential new revenues for federal, State and local governments, money that can be used to fund renewable energy, conservation, roads, schools and other critical programs.
- OCS energy development will provide new jobs and an economic boost to coastal states and needed new supplies of clean natural gas for the nation.
Environmentally conscious countries all over the world explore offshore and safely produce oil and natural gas every day. Our country needs to get with the program and start producing more natural gas from our offshore waters. I hope that you will add your voice to the debate. More information is available here. You can leave your comments on the draft here.