WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The proposed offshore oil and natural gas leasing program released by the Department of the Interior today, along with other recent actions to restrict energy development, show a disappointing lack of commitment to ensuring America's position as a world leader in energy, said API Director of Upstream Erik Milito.
"The administration is compromising our ability to compete globally by restricting so much of the nation's oil and natural gas resources," said Milito. "The draft offshore leasing program proposed today completely ignores areas where oil and natural gas development could create more than half a million new American jobs and generate hundreds of billions of dollars for the government.
"While considering the Atlantic for potential development is a good step, the administration's proposal represents the bare minimum for potentially opening that area by including only a single lease sale six years from now."
In her news conference, Secretary Jewell noted the lease sales were a minimum that could be "narrowed or taken out entirely in the future."
"New restrictions offshore Alaska and a rejection of billions of barrels of oil from the coastal plain of ANWR, duplicative new regulations on industry operations, and the government's refusal to even consider leasing in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific are tying America's hands against a future of affordable and reliable energy," said Milito.
"Staying competitive and reducing our dependence on oil from abroad depends on planning and decisions made today. What the administration has in fact proposed represents delayed economic opportunity and could cost us a lot of jobs and revenue to the government and threaten our energy security.
"This is our energy moment, and we need smart, forward-thinking policies to realize this opportunity."
API represents all segments of America's oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation's energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.
SOURCE American Petroleum Institute