Offshore drilling has been a key focus in the environmental/energy debate over the past several years, even resurfacing in March when President Obama advocated drilling off the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard issued a statement yesterday touting Obama’s efforts as a step in the right direction, but noted more needs to be done to boost production in the U.S.
By now, you’ve probably heard about President Obama’s recent announcement to consider exploration for oil and natural gas resources in specific offshore areas of the United States. If fully implemented, the president’s new policy could lead to access to much-needed domestic energy resources—a positive step toward generating thousands of good jobs and more than a trillion dollars in critical revenue for our struggling economy. The oil and natural gas industry stands ready to work with the administration to make this a reality. But more needs to be done to fully realize this potential.
Our industry has a proven ability to develop offshore energy resources safely. We hope that the president will consider opening access to other resource-rich regions off of the Pacific coast and Alaska and in the Eastern Gulf, and expediting the process for exploration and production in all areas. The Department of Energy projects that our nation will rely upon oil and natural gas for decades to come and we need to go to work producing those resources here at home.
The majority of Americans agree. A Rasmussen Reports survey, conducted after President Obama’s announcement, shows that voter support for exploration and development of offshore energy resources is at its highest point in the past three years. In fact, 72 percent of Americans support offshore drilling. In addition, 59 percent also said that drilling should be allowed off the coast of California and New England, two areas that will remain off-limits under the president’s plan.