On January 8, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) published in the Federal Register the National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program (DPP) for 2019-2024. The DPP proposes potential access to resources in the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
After the release of the DPP, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the Administration is considering limiting access to areas offshore Florida. The National OCS Leasing Program is developed in accordance with the OCS Lands Act which outlines a comprehensive and lengthy review process for the draft five-year leasing program. As such, Secretary Zinke’s announcement – which could remove the eastern Gulf of Mexico early in the planning process – is premature.
PESA has been part of a Joint Trade Group – led by API – advocating for DOI to proceed with an inclusive and thorough review process that includes all acreages proposed in the DPP.
The release of the DPP is an early step in a multi-year process to develop a final National OCS Leasing Program. DOI will use input received from stakeholders to develop the proposed OCS leasing program. Detailed information on the DPP is available on Interior’s website and comments are due on March 9.
The Joint Trade Group is developing a comprehensive advocacy program (letters, comments, media, public meetings, grassroots/grasstops campaigns, etc.). The Government Affairs Committee spearheads PESA’s involvement in this issue.
For questions or additional information, please contact PESA Senior Director Public Policy Jean Gould.