Tag: domestic energy production

Manufacturers Call on Interior Department to Expedite Drilling off Alaska’s Coast

Yesterday, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed comments with the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) urging them to expedite the permitting and lease process in the Chukci Sea and other areas of Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for oil and natural gas development.

Estimates show that in Alaska’s OCS, there are roughly 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It is time to put an end to needless red tape, excessive delays and unreasonable regulations preventing domestic exploration and production.  Using these abundant resources will not only generate $193 billion in revenue to the government over the next 50 years, it will also create tens of thousands of jobs, increase our energy security and our domestic supply as well.

While unemployment continues to increase, and energy prices are at record highs, it is time we use the domestic resources readily available to us to solve the problems we face.

Manufacturers support responsible and environmentally sensitive practices that promote safety and conservation, and this can be achieved; all while securing our energy future and rebuilding our shaken economy. It is time to open up Alaska’s OCS.

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Domestic Energy Industry: Innovative, Resilient and Reliable

You can’t stop the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s job creators, their persistence or appetite for success. Despite the administration’s roadblocks to domestic oil production, manufacturers remain resilient and innovative, achieving new breakthroughs and continuing to find and develop new domestic energy resources.

An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal details the success of energy producers continued commitment to exploration, despite the challenges they have faced over recent years, such as the recent moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Journal notes:

The Interior Department is still issuing very few permits, only 15 for new wells since it lifted its moratorium in October, but Exxon received one of them and struck black gold at 7,000 feet below sea level and some 230 miles at sea… Exxon estimates the field contains some 700 million barrels of oil equivalent, one of the largest finds of the last decade.

The great energy irony of recent years is that governments have thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at wind, solar, ethanol and other alternative fuels, yet the major breakthroughs have taken place in the traditional oil and natural gas business. Hydraulic fracturing in shale, horizontal drilling and new seismic techniques are only the best known examples.

Oil and natural gas companies have stepped up their efforts, incorporating additional safety and environmental protections as part of their commitment to the sound, reliable production of domestic energy to lower costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

The Journal’s editorial concludes, “The Exxon discovery is a display of the animal spirits that still live in the U.S. energy industry, notwithstanding the political efforts to stifle them. As much as Washington tries, the U.S. economy is hard to keep down.”

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Interior’s Solution to Oil and Gas Development is to Drill Less

Today, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing with regards to the Outer Continental Shelf and domestic oil and gas production.  Secretary Ken Salazar testified before the Committee on a framework for “efficient and responsible” drilling.  Unfortunately, Secretary Salazar, much in line with the Administration’s misguided policies, promoted those principles that will ultimately raise the price of energy for manufacturers and consumers alike. 

Those pillars that were endorsed by Secretary Salazar include, but are not limited to:  (1) amending the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 in order to reduce the time for oil and gas leases; (2) extending the time that the Department of Interior has for reviewing exploration plans submitted by companies; and (3) imposing fees on companies with non-producing oil and gas leases.  

The Interior is pushing for policies that are ultimately counterproductive and will not solve the current predicament of high energy, with little relief in sight.  The policies that the Interior highlighted as their “wish list” show that the Administration is out of touch with the American consumer and the needs of the manufacturing community, who consume a third of our nations’ energy. 

The Administration needs to refocus its priorities to ensure that more companies are given the opportunity to return to the Gulf of Mexico in order to explore and drill for oil and gas.  Furthermore, the Interior needs to streamline its permitting process and provide companies holding leases the time they need to safely and effectively explore and develop much needed domestic energy. 

 Finally, those companies that are not able to produce oil and gas at a given time should not be penalized, as they spend a millions of dollars exploring and developing in reliance on their leases.  Perhaps the Administration needs to look at opening those areas that are currently under a moratorium in order to ensure that companies are exploring and developing those areas with the most potential to contain oil and gas, providing more domestic energy while creating a climate for economic growth and job creation.

These misguided policies must be addressed by the administration and they must reverse course and put in place common-sense policies so energy producers can get back to work, producing domestic energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. This will spur job creation and continued economic growth; two critical factors that will help this country recover from the economic recession we have been battling.

Mahta Mahdavi is director of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers

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President’s Speech on Energy was Short on Taking Responsibility

Manufacturers agree with President Obama’s comments Wednesday on the need to increase domestic oil and gas production. Domestic energy producers want new exploration and drilling and to resume projects that were forced to shut down under the moratorium imposed last spring.

While the Administration is advocating for greater domestic production, it simultaneously is preventing the permit process from operating in a timely and efficient manner. The Administration bears the responsibility to grant leases and permits for exploration and production to begin. Implicating domestic energy producers for lack of action, shortage or delay is irresponsible and inaccurate. It is time this Administration follow the policies it proposes. Action is required, not additional oratory.

The National Association of Manufacturers supports an “all of the above” approach to energy supply. To successfully compete in a global marketplace, American manufacturers must have reliable, affordable and secure energy sources. By increasing domestic production and incorporating renewables into a larger energy portfolio, manufacturers will be protected from the unpredictable price swings that come along with foreign energy sources, providing the stability needed for manufacturers to grow, create high-paying jobs and invest in the future.

Mahta Mahdavi is NAM director for energy and resources policy.

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