Op/Ed: Offshore Energy Can Power US Growth
Following President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress, National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in on shifting U.S. policy and its effects on offshore energy and the American economy.
As President Trump begins work on his ambitious agenda, it appears that efficiency and cost cutting are major themes throughout much of the federal government. Those of us in the energy producing industries say welcome to our world. While low commodity prices and overly burdensome regulations devastated job growth in the energy sector during the last two years, it also resulted in greater operational efficiency, particularly in the offshore industry. Ironically, as the administration begins to unravel some of the regulatory weight and uncertainty, it is also the energy industry that can assist the overall economic goals outlined tonight. Not only does a more robust offshore energy industry mean thousands of potential new jobs and billions in new government revenue, it also means lower manufacturing costs, more consumer savings and more energy security. In other words, America’s offshore industry provides a platform for inclusive economic growth and security for all Americans.
However, there is much work to be done, and undone, before we can unlock our offshore resources. Due to federal actions of the past eight years, nearly 94 percent of our nation’s offshore resources are off limits to oil and gas exploration and development. In the few areas that do remain open, costly regulations that provide no safety or environment benefits are pricing companies out of doing businesses. Because of these challenges, the U.S. will need to adopt an “all of the above” policy approach in order to tap our offshore potential.
NOIA hopes President Trump and his administration will begin work on a new five year offshore leasing program that addresses the illogical Atlantic and Arctic OCS withdrawals. NOIA also hopes that the administration continues their examination of many of the politically-driven regulations and decisions that were issued during the previous administration. In addition, it is imperative that we allow for safe and modern offshore seismic surveys if we are to have an accurate assessment of our nation’s oil and natural gas resources.
NOIA stands ready to work with President Trump, his administration and Congress in helping fuel the American economy. Together, and with policies in place that increase, rather than decrease, access to federal offshore areas, we can strengthen our economy, keep energy affordable for American consumers and further our position as the global energy leader.