No Atlantic Drilling in BOEM’s 5-Year Plan
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced the proposal for the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017–22.
The proposed program does not schedule any lease sales in the Mid- and South Atlantic Program Areas. However, the proposed program released 15 March 2016 evaluates 13 potential lease sales in six planning areas—10 potential sales in the Gulf of Mexico and three potential sales off the coast of Alaska.
Before the program is finalized and before any lease sales occur, the department will consider another round of public input on the proposal and its accompanying Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The current proposal was informed by more than 1 million comments, 23 public meetings, and extensive outreach with members of the public, nonprofit organizations, industry, elected officials, and other interested parties across the country.
“This is a balanced proposal that protects sensitive resources and supports safe and responsible development of the nation’s domestic energy resources to create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Secretary Jewell. “The proposal focuses potential lease sales in areas with the highest resource potential, greatest industry interest, and established infrastructure. At the same time, the proposal removes other areas from consideration for leasing, and seeks input on measures to further reduce potential impacts to the environment, coastal communities, and competing ocean and coastal uses, such as subsistence activities by Alaska Natives.”