February 7, 2012
Dear Mr. Secretary:
With the release of the Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Plan for 2012-2017, we write to express strong bipartisan support in the House for the consideration of new and expanded access to the OCS for the production of oil and natural gas.
Opening up new areas of the OCS will bring new jobs, new energy, and new revenues to the Treasury all at a time where each of these benefits is desperately needed. When finalized, this will be the first five year plan since the presidential and congressional moratoria were lifted in 2008. At the time these moratoria were removed, it was anticipated by the public and the Congress that without these obstacles in place the result would be that future five year plans would include significant new access to the OCS thereby laying the groundwork for new jobs, energy, and revenues. Together, these moratoria had kept more than three quarters of the OCS off limits to exploration and production activities for more than 30 years. Consequently, we were disappointed that the proposed plan announced by your Department on November 8th would open no new areas of the OCS for assessment and leave exploration and development activities focused in the same places where we have been looking for a generation. We continue to believe that any new five year leasing plan should allow for the consideration of expanding into new areas, such as offshore Virginia, as envisioned when the moratoria were lifted.
Read the entire letter HERE.