House Natural Resources Committee

Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee

Examining the Future of the Offshore Leasing Program

1324 Longworth
Thu, 27 Jul 2023 14:00:00 GMT

On Thursday, July 27, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing titled “Safeguarding American Jobs and Economic Growth: Examining the Future of the Offshore Leasing Program.”

Hearing memo

  • Archie Chiasson, III, President, Lafourche Parish, LA
  • Paul Danos, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Danos, Gray, LA
  • Mike Minarovic, Chief Executive Officer, Arena Offshore, The Woodlands, TX
  • Justin Solet, Gulf South Advocate, Dulac, LA (Democratic witness)

Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), the Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for preparing and maintaining an oil and gas leasing program that meets national energy needs while considering various factors, including input from intergovernmental partners and stakeholders. However, recent events such as the vacatur of Lease Sale 257 and cancelation of Lease Sales 258, 259 and 261, later mandated by the so-called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), raise questions about DOI’s compliance with OCSLA and the future of the offshore leasing program.

The Biden administration has initiated the process for several offshore wind sales since taking office. On July 17, 2023, BOEM announced the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Revolution Wind Farm project offshore of the State of Rhode Island. If finalized, Revolution Wind would be the fourth commercial-scale offshore wind project located on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf approved by the Biden administration. More recently, on July 20, 2023 BOEM announced it will hold the first-ever offshore wind energy lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico this August. Despite claims of inability to conduct similar review activities for oil and gas in the same region or elsewhere, BOEM expects to review at least 16 Construction and Operations Plans of commercial, offshore wind energy facilities by 2025 and are on track to hold zero new oil and gas lease sales.