Jan 27 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Interior announced a draft of a five-year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, which would allow only one potential lease sale for just a limited portion of the Mid- and South-Atlantic OCS regions.

The proposal comes less than one week after Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) proposed pro-jobs legislation directing the Department of Interior to develop a plan that allows offshore oil and natural gas exploration for the entire Mid- and South-Atlantic OCS regions.

The Tillis-Burr proposal would help states benefit from the more than 142,000 potential jobs that could be created through offshore natural gas and oil exploration and production along the Atlantic Coast by 2035, according to a recent study conducted by Quest Offshore Resources. A wide range of industries would see significant job creation including extraction, manufacturing, and construction. The study found that North Carolina could benefit from up to 55,000 jobs and nearly $4 billion in newly generated state revenue from 2017 to 2035.

“While I am glad that President Obama is now considering allowing offshore natural gas and oil exploration along the Atlantic Coast, his proposal is wholly inadequate and would not provide the same level of job creation and economic benefits as the legislation Sen. Burr and I recently proposed,” said Sen. Tillis. “The Administration’s proposal is non-binding and effectively prevents individual states from unlocking their full energy potential. Sen. Burr and I will continue to advance our commonsense proposal to open up the Atlantic Coast to offshore natural gas and oil exploration so North Carolina can see the thousands jobs and the billions in economic activity that could come to our great state.”