Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory headlined a panel today, organized by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. Representatives from Louisiana and Virginia also participated in the discussion.
The governors underscored their support for federal legislation mandating revenue sharing from the development of oil, gas and renewable energy resources in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). They also highlighted the importance of efficient, timely, and consistent regulatory approval for offshore development.
In his remarks, Governor Parnell cited lower unemployment in more hospitable places like Aberdeen, Scotland, West Texas, Alberta and North Dakota, and the importance of the federal government unlocking resources to enable new energy production to create jobs.
"Those places that are allowed to grow create more opportunity for our people," Governor Parnell said. "We should not accept nearly 12 million Americans out of work.
"As chair of the OCS Governors Coalition, we're advocating to expand revenue sharing to states that host offshore development. Currently, Eastern Seaboard states and Alaska are generally not eligible to share in revenues generated by oil, gas, and renewables in the OCS. These states should be treated equitably with other coastal states.
"We continue to urge the Obama administration to provide timely regulatory approval for the development of oil, gas, and renewable energy resources in the OCS. More timely federal decision-making means more jobs sooner for Americans and reduces our nation's growing debt.
"In the U.S. Interior Department's Five-Year Plan for Oil and Gas Leasing for 2012-2017, the department did not open access to new areas through 2017, including leases in the Atlantic, despite the fact that a lease sale off of Virginia's coast had been included in a previous five-year plan. What's more, Interior postponed all Arctic OCS lease sales by one year from the date proposed in the draft plan. As it stands, 85 percent of America's OCS is effectively closed to oil and natural gas exploration. This is unacceptable."
Since its formation in 2011, the coalition of coastal governors has advocated for energy expansion through safe and responsible resource development and has supported proactive offshore energy production as part of a comprehensive national energy policy. The coalition provides a discussion and policy platform, and includes the governors of Alaska, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
"When it comes to the federal government, the states often only see delay," said Governor Parnell. "We are looking for more coordination by the federal government with the states instead of federal decision-making without them."