On 11 September, the U.S. House voted, 238 to 189, to approve H.R. 1941, the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, legislation that bars offshore drilling in federal waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It additionally voted, 248 to 180, to approve H.R. 205, the Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, to permanently extend the GOMESA moratorium on oil and gas activities in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. In response, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:
“Arbitrarily locking away strategic offshore resources severely limits the United States’ ability to remain an energy leader. Today’s vote is disappointing given the reality that increased oil and gas production is necessary to meet the country’s rising energy needs. Energy in the U.S. is produced with a smaller carbon footprint and under stronger environmental protections than most other places in the world, a significant fact that must be considered when debating energy policies that impact its ability to decrease its reliance on foreign energy sources and provide energy for the world. Just as importantly, policies that encourage U.S. oil and gas development significantly contribute to the overall economy. We are an industry that employs a staggering number of Americans, more than 10.3 million, nearly 8 percent of the economy. Today’s House votes ignore both of these positive realities that result from U.S. oil and gas production. Shutting down the possibility of drilling in federal waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and Eastern Gulf of Mexico, areas that are expected to hold vast natural resources, is shortsighted and the first step toward “keeping it in the ground”. American consumers can’t afford policies that stifle domestic energy production and the resulting increase in their energy costs. IADC remains hopeful that in the future, a real conversation about the potential development of these natural resource assets in U.S. waters is entertained by lawmakers as their development has very real impacts on the everyday lives of American consumers and the U.S economy.
To read the Joint Trades Letter on the topic, please visit: Stand Up for American Made Energy.