Policy Feature Issue: Off-Shore Drilling

Communications • June 25, 2013

Policy Feature Issue: Off-Shore Drilling

Though the President continues to take credit for the domestic energy boom which has occurred during his tenure, much of the increase has come from increased production on private lands.  In fact, it is the President’s policies that are responsible for a decline in production on federal lands.  One area in which the President’s policies have been detrimental energy independence is offshore drilling.

Facts You Need to Know:

  • The President has implemented a virtual moratorium on oil and natural gas exploration and production in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).  The Department of Interior’s current Five Year Leasing Program keeps 85 percent of offshore areas blocked off from potential energy production.[1]  This includes areas throughout the U.S. that have pre-existing oil and natural gas production infrastructure.
  • Despite the President’s assertion in 2012 that oil production was at its highest in nearly a decade, the claim is misleading.  In 2011, Gulf oil production was down 22 percent and was projected by the EIA to be down 29 percent in 2012.[2]
  • Opening up offshore federal lands to exploration and production has the potential to provide significant economic benefits.  In the long-run, offshore drilling has the potential to create 1.2 million jobs, $70 billion in wages, $2.2 trillion in tax receipts, and $8 trillion in additional economic output (GDP).[3]
  • An EIS Solutions study released in 2012 estimated the economic benefits of returning federal offshore permitting and leasing to 2007-08 levels in the western U.S.  The study concluded that reverting to 2007-08 permitting levels would increase oil production in the western U.S. alone by 9.9 million barrels per year from 2012-2015 and create nearly 25,000 jobs over the same four year period.[4]
  • Furthermore, the amount of time to process an application for drilling (both onshore and offshore) has slowed dramatically under the current administration.  In 2007, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved 7,124 drilling permits with an average time of 196 days. In 2012, the BLM approved 4,256 permits with an average time of 226 days.[5]  This means that the BLM is taking on average 16 percent more time to approve only 60 percent of the wells it approved five years ago.

Leave Your Comments

Your email address will not be published.