04.24.15

Senators Isakson, Perdue Urge Administration to Increase Offshore Energy Production

Point to bipartisan support in states, throughout all levels of government

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) joined Senate colleagues this week in demanding the administration remove harmful restrictions on offshore energy development and keep its commitment to an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that will further advance job creation, economic growth and energy security in the United States. 

In a letter signed by members of the U.S. Senate and House sent to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Senators Isakson and Perdue expressed concerns over restrictions placed on the proposed lease sale areas in the Atlantic within the Interior Department’s 2017-2022 Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program proposal, which was submitted in January.

“As members of Congress committed to a strong, comprehensive domestic energy strategy, we wholeheartedly believe that the United States must not shrink away from developing our nation’s offshore energy resources,” the senators wrote. “What the administration proposed appears merely to be an effort to provide political cover irrespective of the opportunity foregone. When coupled with the imposed buffer zones, and an insufficient number of lease sales… this draft proposal fails to produce a long-term energy policy that harnesses the potential of our nation’s vast natural resources.”

The letter further states, “There is strong bipartisan support from members of Congress, governors, state legislators, local leaders and the general public for allowing oil and natural gas development in more areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf…We are at a critical time in developing America’s energy policy and decisions we make today will have an impact on future U.S. oil and natural gas production. Such decisions will also significantly impact our standing in a volatile global economy.”

Specifically, concerns include the 50-mile buffer zone for the entirety of the Atlantic Coast proposed areas, the permanent withdrawal of areas offshore Alaska and the limited opportunities available under the program as proposed. The letter was led by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tim Scott (R-SC).

Earlier this month, Senators Isakson and Perdue sent another letter to the leadership of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee requesting that Georgia, receive a portion of revenue from offshore energy production, just as Gulf Coast states currently receive for oil and gas drilling off their shores.