The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is currently considering the inclusion of the Atlantic in the 2019-2024 offshore energy leasing program. Offshore Atlantic energy resources are vast, and could help provide long-term reliable energy to Georgia families and businesses so they can more affordably power and fuel their homes, electronics and cars while supporting communities via job creation and revenue generation. This is especially relevant in Georgia, where individuals spend an estimated $3,273 annually on energy and pay monthly home electricity bills that are about 16% higher
than the national average.1https://www.eia.gov/state/seds/sep_sum/html/pdf/rank_pr.pdf2https://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/pdf/table5_a.pdf
In the Mid- and South Atlantic alone, there is enough estimated energy in this region to provide all 6,607,016 licensed drivers in Georgia with more than 8,536 gallons of gasoline, or enough for each driver to make 49 roundtrips between Atlanta
and Los Angeles.3https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/state_transportation_statistics/state_transportation_statistics_2015/chapter-4/table4_24https://www.boem.gov/2016-National-Assessment-Fact-Sheet/
Exploring for energy off the Atlantic coast represents an opportunity to boost job creation, grow our economy and preserve our way of life for the next generation. Based on today’s prices, Mid- and South Atlantic oil and natural gas resources are valued at over $283 billion, the production of which could generate more than $53 billion in royalty revenue for
federal, state, and local governments.5https://www.boem.gov/2016a-National-Assessment-Fact-Sheet/6http://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/oil-price7http://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/natural-gas-price
One study has found that for Georgia alone, Atlantic
- Create 5,000+ jobs
- Grow the state’s economy by $426 million annually
- Provide over $700 million in new state revenue 8http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-US-Access-to-Offshore-Oil-and-Natura….pdf
By ensuring and expanding economic opportunities that result from energy development, Georgia can help provide jobs and critical services for all residents, including the 16% of Georgians living in poverty.9https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/GA/PST045216
Moving forward, in accordance with the new administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,10https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/28/presidential-executive-order-implementing-america-first-offshore-energy in July 2017 the DOI formally launched a public process to develop a new 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.11https://www.boem.gov/National-OCS-Oil-and-Gas-Leasing-Program-for-2019-2024/
This process advanced in January 2018 with the publication of a Draft Proposed Program, with offshore areas including the Mid- and South Atlantic now being further evaluated for potential inclusion in the new leasing program.
Embracing offshore energy development of all types could provide a significant new source of funding for activities ranging from infrastructure improvements to environmental enhancements and beyond.
With the environmental progress that has been achieved in the United States in recent decades –including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improvements in drinking water quality — it is clearer than ever before that we can have both responsible energy development AND environmental protection.
To underscore the coexistence between American offshore energy development and a healthy environment, the DOI concluded in 2016, under the Obama administration, said that not holding a single Mid/South Atlantic lease sale could result in up to ~$3 billion in incremental environmental and social costs, with the nation forced to turn to foreign imports to replace nearly 60% of the lost production.
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