06 December 2010 18:58 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The ?xml:namespace>
“We will pursue all our options, legal, regulatory and legislative, to overturn that decision,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute (API).
“The decision last week by the Interior Department essentially shuts down until the next decade energy development in offshore areas of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the eastern
“That decision is taking this country in the wrong direction and imperilling our energy future,” he added.
The Obama administration sparked outrage on Wednesday last week in announcing that it would not issue new oil and gas exploration leases in any
Citing the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in April this year and the subsequent spill of some 5m bbl of oil into the Gulf, Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar said the administration was rescinding plans announced in March to open more of the US outer continental shelf (OCS) regions to oil and gas drilling.
The Interior Department decision drew widespread condemnation from across the
Among others, chemical industry officials slammed the drilling ban, charging that it would throw the
Gerard said the Interior Department decision was “deeply troubling for
Although Salazar said that lease sales for US areas of the central and western Gulf of Mexico might be held as soon as late next year, Gerard charged that the more extensive environmental impact studies now required by the department would likely mean that no lease sales would take place in Gulf waters at all in 2011.
“This will be the first time since 1965 that no lease sales will be held anywhere in the Gulf,” Gerard said.
Gerard said that the institute and its member companies would continue to work with the Interior Department to try to understand the leasing ban, “but we also think that congressional oversight and action are needed” to reverse the department’s decision.
“There has been a bipartisan adverse reaction on Capitol Hill to the department’s decision,” Gerard said, “and we encourage Congress to look very closely at this decision in the interest of the public and the American people.”
“This decision is inconsistent with the will of the American people,” Gerard said, citing last month’s national elections that gave Republicans majority control of the House of Representatives and a new Rasmussen poll showing that most Americans think the new offshore ban will raise US fuel and other energy costs.
Gerard charged that the Obama administration’s decision to broadly restrict
“The Interior Department decision was driven more by political concerns than energy reality,” he added.
“Some in this country want to move us away from oil and gas,” he said, referring to what he termed political and alternative energy policy considerations behind the department’s decision.
“But it is irresponsible for the administration to dial out the number one energy source that fuels our economy, oil and natural gas, to pursue a political wish list,” he said.
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