Date ArticleType
7/13/2016 Member News
API Opposes Short-Sighted Amendments





Reid Porter | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2016 – New anti-consumer proposals from some members of the House of Representatives to ban geological or geophysical activities that aid in several forms of energy exploration could cripple offshore oil and natural gas exploration, according to API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito. 

“These short-sighted amendments are ultimately anti-consumer, anti-jobs and would harm future U.S. energy security,” said Milito. “Offshore seismic surveys have been conducted safely in the U.S. and around the world for decades. They provide critical knowledge to find the energy that Americans depend on and, in the process, generate job creation and economic growth while increasing our nation’s energy security.”

The last surveys of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) took place over 30 years ago and given the technological advances since that time, today’s technology can provide a better understanding of the oil and natural gas resource potential in the Atlantic OCS. Safe seismic surveying is an important step in vital outer continental shelf energy development – there are at least 
4.7 billion barrels of oil and 37.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are estimated to be undiscovered in the Atlantic alone, according to government assessments. 

The Department of Interior has supported exploration and mapping activities and oversees a permitting process that requires site-specific environmental reviews for any permit applications that include coordination and consultation with federal, state and tribal authorities under a variety of additional statutory requirements. In fact, in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM)
August 2014 Science Note, the agency’s chief environmental officer stated, “To date, there has been no documented scientific evidence of noise from air guns used in seismic surveying activities adversely affecting marine animal populations or coastal communities.” BOEM’s Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Atlantic seismic permitting also made the conclusion that seismic surveys are safely regulated.

“Rising U.S. production has dramatically increased our ability to protect consumers and the U.S. economy from energy shocks even within a low price environment,” said Milito. “Thanks to industry efforts and investment, the United States is leading the world in oil and natural gas production as well as in reduced emissions, which are near 20-year lows. 

“Forward-looking energy policy recognizes the need to understand the potential resources in the Atlantic. The nation’s long-term energy security can only be ensured with a lasting commitment to expanding offshore oil and natural gas development to new areas.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.