GOP East coast Governors press nominee for Atlantic drilling
President Barack Obama’s new Interior Secretary nomineehasn’t been confirmed by the Senate yet — much less sworn in – but she’s already facing pressure to expand offshore drilling.
Three East Coast governors wrote Sally Jewell on Thursday, making clear that they want to hear the nominee express her support for oil and gas development in Atlantic waters during her confirmation hearing.
“Energy production from the Atlantic outer continental shelf could create more than 140,000 new jobs within the next 20 years, and we hope you will ensure that the administration is a partner with the states on this issue,” said North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell.
“We will be listening intently to your answers regarding energy exploration off the coasts of our states and hope you will signal your willingness to revise the administration’s current policy to one that is committed to safely harnessing our coast’s vast natural resources,” they added.
The Interior Department’s five-year plan for selling offshore oil and gas leases from July 2012 through June 30, 2017 does not include any planned auctions of Atlantic waters.
However, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is on track to unveil a final environmental study of possible seismic research program from Delaware to Florida that could help identify potential oil and gas in the region. Any data indicating potential big untapped resources could add pressure for future administrations to lease Atlantic tracts and help plan any auctions in the area.
...The rationale for not drilling in the Atlantic is inexplicable on most levels and boils down to the influence of the anti energy left on this administration's resource allocations. The anti energy left does not want to produce any carbon based energy and it seizes on any excuse to stop it. It is good to see these GOP governors already stepping up the pressure on the nominee to support development in their area.