Represented states should have the authority to delegate what happens and occurs in the Gulf of Mexico waters, a panel of nine individuals discussed Monday at the Offshore Technology Conference.
The nine individuals are members of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition which was formed in 2011 to promote a constructive dialogue between the federal government and states when it comes to the responsible development of energy resources offshore. Each member of the coalition, during the OTC session, discussed the appropriate role of the various coastal states and the federal government in making decisions for offshore development.
The coalition originally consisted of governors from four states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alaska. Virginia, Alabama, South and North Carolina recently joined the group.
"Our mission is simple – improve dialogue, understand the resource base, create revenue and become good stewards in developing the resources in our waters," said Governor Rick Perry (R, Texas). "Today's energy exploration is safer than ever. Traditional to renewable energy all play key roles in tomorrow's future."
The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) plays a critical role in offshore oil and gas development. Currently, the Federal OCS generally extends from 3 to 200 miles offshore and covers an area of about 1.76 billion acres.
"The federal regulatory environment is preventing independence, preventing the effectiveness of our industry," commented Governor Sean Parnell (R, Alaska). "Those places that are open to development, that are allowed to grow, do and are profiting beautifully."
"We are in the business of creating thousands of high-paying American jobs in an effort to decrease the amount of Americans that are unemployed, specifically 11.7 million," commented Governor Parnell.
"There's an imaginary line between state and federal waters," said Governor Phil Bryant (R, Mississippi). "How does the government determine what is right for our waters?"
In the last two years, the organization has sent two letters to the White House calling for sensible policies that responsibly increase offshore energy development, including oil, natural gas and wind energy. OCS Governors Coalition also made a formal request that states hosting offshore development participate in revenue associated with the resulting energy production.
"As chair of this coalition of coastal governors, I am pleased Congress is now taking a serious look at legislation that would share federal revenues from OCS energy development, whether it is from oil, gas, wind or tidal sources," Governor Parnell said. "In a challenging economic environment, with tightened budgets on both state and federal levels, such new revenues would be a welcome option to not only reduce deficits, but to create much-needed jobs and put our nation on a path toward energy independence."
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