NOIA Urges U.S. Govt to Take Action for Offshore Access

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) is encouraged that the Administration is likely to make a major announcement regarding offshore energy in the coming weeks. The Department of the Interior's forthcoming comprehensive energy plan will lay out the degree to which offshore industries and our nation will have access to valuable offshore energy resources. Access, however, is not limited to what is detailed in comprehensive plans. Access takes action.

"True access requires deeds, not words," said Randall Luthi, President of NOIA. "True access will require a number of interim actions and vital scientific analyses that often take several years of work to accomplish."

The federal government can, and NOIA believes should, move forward on three fronts today in support of their future plans. These include:

  • Conducting already scheduled oil and natural gas lease sales
  • Starting required environmental reviews
  • Issuing permits for renewable and traditional offshore energy projects

"Work on these three fronts must move forward to have any chance of bringing future domestic energy production to market in a timely manner," Luthi said.

While NOIA looks forward to a forthcoming announcement of the macro-level plans the Administration will lay out for offshore energy development, the group also encourages them to do the day-to-day, detailed analyses and permitting processes that are the foundation of these larger plans.

"In an Administration committed to science-based decision making as well as providing predictability and consistency to the offshore energy industry, there should be no delay in the collection of vital environmental data," said Luthi. "To the offshore industry, predictability and consistency is contingent on the timely completion of necessary environmental and scientific analyses, whether in support of seismic applications off the Atlantic Coast, in advance of scheduled lease sales off Virginia or Alaska, in response to concerns raised about the safety of marine mammals and other protected species, or in preparation of the Five Year Plan itself," Luthi continued. "Predictability and consistency also hinge on energy lease sales moving ahead as originally scheduled, without alteration or cancellation after the fact."

The 250 plus NOIA member companies are ready, willing and able to provide energy, jobs, and revenue for America. These companies are involved in all aspects of energy development on the OCS, including renewable sources in addition to oil and natural gas. NOIA therefore waits with interest to learn more about the Administration's plans, while encouraging them to waste no time in completing the necessary scientific work needed to put words into action.