Senate, House Democrats show why Gulf of Mexico oil & gas is a bipartisan endeavor

National Ocean Industries Association 5/5/2022

Wednesday, the Senate approved language calling for Senate negotiators to support the issuance of a new Five Year Program for offshore oil and gas leasing as soon as possible and that the new program should include at least two area-wide lease sales per year.

The Senate voted on this language as part of the Motions to Instruct for the upcoming negotiations around the China competitiveness bill. Notably, the vote passed with support from four Democrats: Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ). Separately, Representatives Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), and Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX) wrote to President Biden urging him to publish the new Five Year Program for offshore oil and gas leasing. 

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Erik Milito issued the following statement in response to the Senate vote and the House letter.

“The benefits that flow from the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas industry are vast and they lift every American,” Milito said. “Supporting the Gulf of Mexico energy industry should always be a bipartisan endeavor, and we applaud Senators Manchin, Sinema, Hickenlooper, and Kelly and Representatives Gonzalez, Cuellar, Garcia, and Fletcher for their leadership and for standing up for what is a national strategic energy asset.”

There is currently a multi-year gap since the last time companies could secure new lease blocks, he said.

“The longer we go without new leases and without a new Five-Year Program, the more we risk permanently locking away the energy solutions that will help fortify our national security, alleviate inflationary energy prices, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy, and secure our energy with lower emissions production sources here at home,” Milito said.

"Regardless of party, policymakers should embrace the Gulf of Mexico and the Biden Administration should fulfill their legal obligation to release a new leasing program and promptly resume offshore oil and gas lease sales.”

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