Ms. Kelly Hammerle Dr. Jill Lewandowski, Ph.D.
National OCS Oil & Gas Leasing Program Manager Chief, Division of Environmental Assessment
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
45600 Woodland Road, VAM-LD 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OEP
Sterling, VA 20166-9216 Sterling, Virginia 20166
RE: Draft Proposed 2019-2024 OCS Oil & Gas Leasing Program & Notice of Intent to Prepare a PEIS
Dear Ms. Hammerle and Dr. Lewandowski:
On behalf of the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc., and for the benefit of families and businesses across Louisiana, I write to strongly support the decision to propose expanded access in the Gulf of Mexico and urge the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to maintain all of the proposed leasing regions as it further develops the 2019-2024 offshore leasing program.
With our growing energy needs and nearby infrastructure already in place, the Interior Department has taken an important step by proposing expanded opportunities to develop Gulf of Mexico energy, which could help ensure a stable long-term domestic energy supply that provides Louisiana families and businesses with more income to spend on goods, services, and investments essential to our economic health and standard of living.
These resources can also provide families, businesses, and communities across Louisiana with an economic boost, including those facing unemployment and poverty challenges, as well as significant public revenue that can be used to help provide critical services to the public and build and maintain vital infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, and bridges. In FY 2014, offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico generated over $64 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 650,000 jobs, including 121,000 jobs and nearly $10 billion in GDP for Louisiana. That same year, Gulf activity provided over $7 billion in revenues to federal, state and local governments, making it one of the largest sources of revenue to the federal government.
Continued and expanded Gulf of Mexico access would increase these economic gains for Louisiana residents and ensure that the Gulf Coast continues to supply American consumers across the country with reliable energy. One study has estimated that for Louisiana alone, expanded Gulf of Mexico energy development could support nearly 31,000 new jobs, over $2.5 billion in annual GDP, and over $2 billion in state revenue.
By promoting more development here at home under our strict safety and regulatory requirements, we can also reduce our reliance on energy from countries with less stringent standards and help ensure continued environmental progress that has been made possible by the energy revolution and associated technological advances and innovation. The history of coexistence among various activities in the Gulf, and well-established mechanisms for their coordination, further underscores this opportunity.
For the benefit of citizens and businesses across Louisiana, I therefore respectfully urge BOEM to continue the development of a robust leasing program that includes all of the regions as currently proposed, including in the Gulf of Mexico.
Michael J. Olivier
Committee of 100