House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement regarding the Record of Decision (ROD) issued today by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for seismic exploration in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS):
"After nearly five years of delays, I'm pleased to finally see the Administration moving forward to allow seismic exploration in the Atlantic OCS. Seismic exploration is the first step needed to ensure new offshore energy production in the Atlantic and new opportunities for job creation. It's unacceptable that we are still relying on data from the 1970s and earlier to inform us of our available oil and natural gas resources today. The issuance of the ROD is long overdue, and therefore welcome. However, I remain concerned that BOEM has chosen a pathway that varies so greatly from our successful and safe seismic permitting process currently utilized in the Gulf of Mexico, which is based on decades of sound science. We will continue to monitor the implementation of this process in order to ensure that seismic exploration in the Atlantic is not further delayed. The safe and responsible development of our Atlantic OCS is integral to an energy strategy that produces American energy, promotes job growth, and further solidifies our national security in these uncertain times."