More Federal Actions Needed to Realize Promise of U.S. Arctic Energy Development
According to press reports, today the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) reaffirmed its Chukchi Lease Sale 193, taking a necessary and important step forward in the effort to explore for and develop domestic energy resources in U.S. Arctic waters. The action follows the December 2014 submission of more than 100,000 U.S. consumer comments in support of Alaskan offshore energy and the thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth it would create.
“Today’s action marks an important milestone for consumers across Alaska and the nation at large,” said David Holt, president of Consumer Energy Alliance. “However, to ensure that consumers in Alaska and across the United States can actually realize the economic and societal benefits associated with our vast Arctic offshore resources, the federal government must move forward in a timely manner to grant the remaining approvals and permits necessary to access these resources. BOEM must also ensure that proposed Arctic oil and gas regulations currently under consideration are developed in a way that doesn’t inhibit the long-term feasibility of offshore energy development in the region.”
Originally held in 2008, the lease sale until now has been upheld by litigation pursued by anti-development groups. Consumer Energy Alliance has submitted more than 340,000 comments in support of offshore energy development in the past eight months.
With an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, offshore energy production in federal waters off Alaska is critical to our nation’s long-term energy supply. It is estimated that economic activity from the development of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas would create an annual average of 54,700 jobs nationwide, with government revenue estimated to be nearly $50 billion over the next 50 years.