Home » NEWS » Energy » Senators pushing for extension of offshore leases

Senators pushing for extension of offshore leases

Cochran

Cochran

GULF OF MEXICO — U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) are co-sponsoring legislation to extend the life of leases for offshore oil and gas exploration that the lawmakers say “have been left in limbo since the Obama administration issued a moratorium on offshore energy activities last spring.”

The Lease Extension and Energy Security (LEASE) Act would offer 12-month extensions to existing offshore exploratory leases idled by the drilling moratorium imposed by the U.S. Department of the Interior following the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout last April.

“Escalating gasoline prices are pinching family budgets and prompting new questions about our nation’s ability to tap its own energy resources,” Cochran said. “This bill represents basic fairness for those companies that venture offshore to tap American-owned oil and gas reserves. The oil spill disrupted lease activities, as have the continued delays by the Interior Department to restart the permitting process for offshore energy production. This legislation would give offshore leaseholders an incentive not to abandon those holdings.”

The LEASE Act would serve to restore 12 months of lost lease time for domestic energy producers, allowing them to proceed without the threat of their leases expiring.

At the time of the BP oil spill, 33 leaseholders were conducting exploration drilling in U.S. waters, while thousands of others were in early exploration stages. When it imposed its offshore moratorium last May, the Interior Department did not use its authority to issue a temporary “suspension of operations” order on active leases. That order would have allowed some offshore lease activities while the overall drilling moratorium was in place.

The LEASE Act was authored by U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). The measure will be referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Source: Offices of Sen. Thad Cochran and Sen. Roger Wicker

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About For the MBJ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*