WASHINGTON, DC – US Senators Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are pressing President Biden to move forward with domestic oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a letter to the President Biden, the Senators leaned on the administration to develop and implement a new Five-Year Program for offshore production. Approximately 98% of offshore oil produced by the United States occurs in the Gulf. The current five-year plan expires in June, and it is unclear if the Biden administration will move forward with a new round of lease area designations in 2023.
“Americans are facing record-level gasoline prices every day when they commute to work, drive their children to school and buy groceries and medicine,” the Senators wrote. “Increasing domestic oil production to meet demand is a critical step to lowering gas prices and reducing our reliance on foreign sources. Allowing energy projects to languish in court or remain suspended in years of bureaucratic limbo is not addressing the pain at the pump or the climate crisis.”
The Senators’ letter also addressed the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through an all-of-the-above energy policy.
“Advancing Gulf production does not mean our nation must abandon its climate goals,” the letter said. “The Gulf of Mexico is among the lowest greenhouse gas-emission-intensity oil production sites in the world and would offset foreign imports that are shipped across oceans. When the Obama administration created the current 2017-2022 Program, they found that GHG emissions ‘could, in fact, increase slightly in the absence of new OCS leasing.’”
“Allowing energy projects to languish in court or remain suspended in years of bureaucratic limbo is not addressing the pain at the pump or the climate crisis. The United States can and should increase its renewable energy production and lower its greenhouse gas emissions, but this must occur responsibly, pragmatically and through an all-of-the-above energy approach that takes advantage of our resources at home.”