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    API says exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf "critical" for expanding domestic energy supplies

    News // June 21, 2011

    The American Petroleum Institute has welcomed action by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to approve the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act with bipartisan support, which would provide an orderly and consistent permitting process for oil and gas exploration in the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

    “This bill will help companies obtain air quality permits so that they can drill in the OCS,” said Erik Milito, API’s group director for upstream and industry operations.  

    “Development of new oil resources in the Alaskan OCS will open the door to potential new domestic energy supplies. 

    “It is encouraging to see that members of both parties in the House Energy and Commerce Committee recognize the importance of the OCS to our nation’s energy security and as a source for job creation and revenues to the federal treasury.”

    “By streamlining the air permit process, the bill would also encourage the exploration of new energy resources in areas of the OCS like the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas north of Alaska, or in areas under study for future leasing off the Atlantic Coast,” Milito said.

    The legislation clarifies the intent of the 1990 Clean Air Act governing air permits that emissions from drilling operations should be measured in terms of their impacts onshore, and that the drilling operation - not vessels that come and go - should be considered the emissions source, according to API. 

    It also provides a clear timetable for agency action on these air permits, and provides a right of appeal for judicial review directly to federal court without need for additional administrative review.

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