American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 32

offshore Northern, Central and Southern
California, and one for Washington/Oregon. DOI notes there have been no sales
in the Pacific Region since 1984.
* The DPP proposes three sales each
for the Mid- and South Atlantic, two for
the North Atlantic and one in the Straits
of Florida. There have been no sales in
the Atlantic Region since 1983.
Industry Response
The DPP was greeted enthusiastically
by industry groups. Independent Petroleum
Association of America Senior Vice President Dan Naatz calls it "a true America
first energy policy," adding that it "is another sign of this administration's support
for expanding safe, responsible development of America's abundant energy resources."
"IPAA has long advocated for placing
all of America's offshore energy potential
on the table, including the Eastern Gulf
of Mexico, the Mid-Atlantic and Alaska's
waters," Naatz adds. "Expanding access
to additional offshore reserves allows the
United States to better understand where
production potential exists and where
capital should be invested."
National Ocean Industries Association
President Randall Luthi says, "The DPP
is an important benchmark toward achieving the administration's goal of U.S.
energy dominance. NOIA commends Secretary Zinke and his team at Interior.
"It is time for a truly national discussion about increasing our offshore energy
capabilities," Luthi goes on. "To kick
off a national discussion, you need a national plan-something that has been lacking the past several years. President
Trump started the discussion with his
(April 2017 America First Offshore Energy Strategy) executive order; this plan
continues that dialogue."
Saying that 80 percent of U.S. voters
support increased domestic oil and gas
production, Erik Milito, upstream director
for the American Petroleum Institute, calls
the DPP "an important step toward harnessing our nation's energy potential for
the benefit of American energy consumers."
But more needs to be done, suggests
Nikki Martin, president of the International
Association of Geophysical Contractors.
While she recognizes the DPP as "a significant shift from past administrations,"
Martin nevertheless points out that various
authorization requests for seismic surveys
have been pending at the National Marine
Fisheries Service for more than 900 days
and seismic permit applications have been
pending at DOI for more than three years.
"A lack of new geophysical data could
32 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

undermine the administration's stated
goal to open more areas on the U.S.
OCS," Martin states. "We urge the administration to move forward with seismic
survey authorizations without delay."
The DPP also received kudos from
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global
Energy Institute, the Gulf Economic Survival Team, Heartland Institute and the
Consumer Energy Alliance, which mentions that over the past five years, it and
its members have sent DOI more than
1.5 million letters from business leaders,
families and allied organizations nationwide in support of "a sensible offshore
leasing and environmental program."
Remove Florida
However, not everyone was enthralled
with the prospect of oil and gas leasing
in new areas, and industry groups that
had been praising Secretary Zinke days
before expressed disappointment when
the secretary announced in a Jan. 9 tweet
that he was removing the Eastern Gulf of
Mexico from the DPP.
In the tweet, Zinke says, "President
Trump has directed me to rebuild our
offshore oil and gas program in a manner
that supports our national energy policy
and takes into consideration the local
and state voice. I support (Governor Rick
Scott's) position that Florida is unique
and its coasts are heavily reliant on
tourism as an economic driver. As a result
. . . I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms."
NOIA's Luthi calls that action "disappointing and premature. The conversation
to be had around the draft proposed offshore leasing plan should include modern
technology, science and America's energy
demand and security.
"Today's advanced offshore technology
allows exploration to take place miles
away from coastal communities and with
very limited surface installations or visual
impact," Luthi continues. "Science and
decades of experience show that oil and
natural gas exploration and development
are not only compatible, but are complementary with tourism, fishing and enhancing Gulf of Mexico ecosystems."
API President and CEO Jack Gerard
points out that more than 100 practices,
procedures and regulations have been
created or strengthened since 2010, "including for improved safety and environmental management, well design,
blowout prevention and spill response."
Nevertheless, according to published
reports, Zinke's tweet set off a chorus of
other Atlantic and Pacific coastal state

governors asking for similar exemptions,
including California, Delaware, Maryland,
New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Oregon and Washington.
Reports say Maine Governor Paul
LePage supports drilling, but both of the
state's U.S. senators-Republican Susan
Collins and independent Angus King-
are opposed. Collins joined nine Democratic senators led by Sheldon Whitehouse
of Rhode Island on Jan. 11 to introduce
S 2298, the New England Coastal Protection Act, which would ban drilling
offshore New England.
NOIA reports that U.S. Representative
Garret Graves, R-La., suggests in a letter
to Zinke that if Florida "can dictate federal
energy policy," despite being one of the
largest energy consumers in the nation
and largely reliant on energy produced
in the Gulf of Mexico, then states under
the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act
should have full autonomy over their respective shares of energy revenue.
DOI's Jan. 4 announcement of the
DPP observes that "including an area is
not a final indication that it will be
included in the approved program or offered in a lease sale. The secretary ensures
that he will receive public input and
analysis on all of the available OCS to
better inform future decisions."
The Washington Examiner reports
Zinke referred to his meeting with Florida
Governor Scott as the first "in what I believe will be a series of conversations"
with other governors.
"I will no doubt talk to every governor,"
the Examiner quotes Zinke, "This is going
to be a long process. We have to get it
right, look at the geology, look at the science."
And NOIA mentions that while testifying Jan. 19 before the House Natural
Resources Subcommittee on Energy and
Mineral Resources on offshore seismic
permitting, Walter Cruickshank, acting
director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management, told congressmen that
Zinke's tweet "did not constitute a formal
action," and that BOEM still was required
to evaluate all offshore areas included in
the offshore leasing proposal, including
offshore Florida.
r

Coming In March
Official convention coverage for
the Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia 2017 winter
meeting, held Jan. 23-24 at the Marriott Town Center Charleston, W.V.



American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Contents
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - Contents
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