LMOGA President Chris John Comments: BOEM 5-year Leasing Plan, Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

01 11, 2012 by Chris John

LMOGA President Chris John Testimony: BOEM Hearings on Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Wednesday, January 11, 2012, New Orleans, Louisiana

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here today to comment on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the latest 5-year leasing plan for the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico. My name is Chris John and I am the President of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA).

LMOGA is the trade association that represents upstream, mid-stream, and downstream companies active in the state of Louisiana and many of the companies who operate in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Over the last several decades, LMOGA has been honored to be able to comment on these proposals and that feeling is the same today. Thanks

Obviously, this is an important day and marks what we hope is an important milestone. The Deepwater Horizon incident was tragic and warranted a close safety assessment to address all issues relevant to drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico. As an industry we feel we have done that and have been engaged and involved in adopting a variety of safety rules to prevent similar accidents in the future.

We have committed billions of dollars to create first-rate oil spill response capabilities, such as: the Marine Well Containment System, the Helix Energy Solutions Group, the Joint Industry Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Task Force and have adapted to the new rules that BOEM has set forth as their response to preventing a similar incident. Given the focused commitment to safety--- It is time that we fully resume leasing and drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico. We support the broadest leasing schedule possible that provides the utmost in forecasting and certainty.

With respect to the Draft EIS for the Western and Central Gulf that is before us today, we support Alternative “A” in each leasing area. This would allow a lease sale in each area once a year for the next five years. On the other hand, we strongly oppose Alternative “B” – the not sale option.

As the Association that represents both upstream and downstream operators in Louisiana – which really means – all 62,417 direct oil and gas EMPLOYEES and 320,000 indirect jobs in Louisiana, it is imperative that we get these professionals back to work to the fullest capability. Oil and gas employment is a major component of Louisiana’s economy that paid over $1 BLLION dollars in state taxes in 2010 and has an overall economic impact of 77 billion dollars.

In conclusion, with all the continued unrest in Iran and the Middle East right now, we have an obligation and responsibility to safely develop our own natural resources to secure America’s energy future.

Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to continuing our efforts to move this industry forward while safely harnessing America’s natural resources.

Chris John
President of LA Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association

Copy of Chris John's Testimony