Democratic News

Aug 20 2014

Landrieu calls on BOEM to Open More Acres to Offshore Energy Production in Next Five Year Plan

Landrieu’s GOMESA opened 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to energy production for the first time.

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources renewed her call for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to open more areas to energy production in its new Five Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022. Today BOEM held an offshore lease sale that yielded over $110 million dollars from high bids in over 400,000 acres in the Western Gulf Planning Area. Last month, Sen. Landrieu sent a joint letter with pro-Energy Democrats calling on BOEM to expand offshore energy production in its next Five-Year Plan.

“More offshore energy exploration and production means more high-paying jobs for hard working Americans that pay the kind of wages that allow middle class families to buy homes, save for college and build wealth. And it means achieving energy security for the United States—something that has bedeviled Congress and Republican and Democratic presidents for decades,” Sen. Landrieu said. “Having these potential resources beneath our waters and not using them is shortsighted and makes us more dependent on countries that are unstable or do not share our values. I will continue to push BOEM to open up more areas for energy production off our coasts in its next five year plan.”

Senator Landrieu also called for Congress to expand the revenue sharing she established through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) by passing the FAIR Act, a bill she co-sponsored with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, Alaska).

“GOMESA has already provided over $30 million dollars to Gulf Coast states since 2006 and will generate hundreds of millions more in the years to come. We can build on GOMESA’s success by passing the FAIR Act, which would allow all coastal states to be able to receive their fair share of the over $8 billion in revenue generated through offshore energy production every year.”

SENATOR LANDRIEU’S PROVEN RECORD OF EXPANDING OFFSHORE ENERGY, CREATING HIGH-PAYING ENERGY JOBS 

Last month, Sen. Landrieu pushed for more offshore energy production during the first-ever Committee field hearing in Lafayette, La. – the epicenter of the offshore energy revolution.

In 2006, Senator Landrieu passed the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), which opened up 8.3 million offshore acres in the Gulf for drilling that will generate nearly two million additional barrels of oil per day – more than the total output of Wyoming and Colorado combined. This effort was the first time in nearly 25 years that domestic energy production was expanded so substantially, and was more than nearly any other senator has ever done to expand drilling.

In 2010, Sen. Landrieu blocked the nomination of Jack Lew to lead the Office of Management and Budget until the Obama administration lifted its deep-water moratorium. It did. She has also successfully defeated Republican and Democratic attempts to raise taxes on the oil and gas industry, including a recent attempt to do so in the 2013 Senate budget. In December 2007, Sen. Landrieu cast the pivotal vote that killed a $21 billion tax hike on energy companies supported by members of both parties. Earlier that year, she also killed another attempt to raise nearly $30 billion in taxes on oil and gas companies that specifically targeted production in the Gulf of Mexico. [Times-Picayune, Dec. 14, 2007; New York Times, June 23, 2007]