The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) provides families and businesses across Alabama, the Gulf Coast region, and the nation with reliable American energy so families and businesses can more
affordably power and fuel their homes, electronics, and cars, while also supporting communities across the state through jobs and revenue generation. Affordable energy is especially vital to Alabama, which is third in the nation for average monthly
consumption of residential electricity.((https://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/pdf/table5_a.pdf))
In addition to having abundant energy, in Alabama alone during Fiscal Year 2014, Gulf of Mexico energy activity supported 18,000 jobs in the state and $1.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).((https://www.boem.gov/2017-2022-Proposed-Program-Decision/)) By ensuring and expanding economic opportunities that result from energy development, Alabama can help provide jobs and critical services for people across the state, including the 17 percent of Alabamians living in poverty.((https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/AL/PST045216))
Moving forward in accordance with the new administration’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,((https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/28/presidential-executive-orderimplementing-america-first-offshore-energy)) the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in July 2017 formally launched a public process to develop a new 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf
Oil and Gas Leasing Program.((https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/28/presidential-executive-orderimplementing-america-first-offshore-energy)) Through this new process, all offshore areas, including in the Gulf of Mexico will be evaluated for potential inclusion in the new leasing program.
Then, in January 2018, the DOI issued its 2019-2024 Draft Proposed Program, which includes opportunities for expanded access to American energy in regions including the Gulf of Mexico. During this new public review phase, areas including the Gulf will be further evaluated for potential future leasing activity.
Continued and expanded energy development in the Gulf of Mexico represents a vital opportunity to boost job creation, grow our economy, and preserve our way of life for families, seniors, and households across the state and for future generations of Alabamians.
Based on today’s prices, Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas resources are valued at over $3.86 trillion, the production of which could generate up to $723.7 billion in royalty revenue for federal, state, and local governments.((https://www.boem.gov/2016a-National-Assessment-Fact-Sheet/))((http://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/oil-price))((http://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/natural-gas-price))
One study has found that for Alabama alone, expanded Gulf development could create up to:
- Over 21,000 jobs
- $1.7+ billion in annual GDP
- Nearly $3.6 billion in new state revenue((http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-US-Access-to-Offshore-Oil-Natural-Gas-Resources-in-the-Eastern-GoM.pdf))
As a new program is developed, lease sales under the existing leasing plan will continue. In October 2017, the DOI announced its intention to conduct the largest offshore lease sale in U.S. history, proposing to offer nearly 77 million acres at an upcoming March 2018 lease sale.((https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/secretary-zinke-announces-largest-oil-gas-lease-sale-us-history)) Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said that the lease sale “is not only in the best interest of all Americans, it allows Gulf Coast states, like Alabama, to utilize our natural resources not only to provide energy for our nation, but increased economic opportunities for
Pursuant to federal law, offshore energy development is providing Alabama with a new source of funding for activities ranging from infrastructure improvements to environmental restoration and beyond. With a robust energy, fishing, and tourism activity, Alabama is a
clear example of how we can have both responsible energy development AND environmental protection.
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