Sea Discovery

NOIA Comments on Draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan

Image: NOIA NOIA President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on the Draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan released today by the Obama Administration: The members of NOIA have long appreciated the diverse ocean resources and the tremendous potential they yield for energy, recreation, and jobs. Our members also recognize that offshore energy exploration and development are not incompatible with other ocean activities. For example, it has been well documented that a tremendous amount of marine life, many of which are rare or endangered, live and thrive in the reef systems created by production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The goals espoused by the National Ocean Council Draft Implementation Plan are certainly worthy of attention; however some aspects of the plan are also of concern to our industry. In particular, the use of Coastal Marine Spatial Planning may very well be a multi-layered bureaucratic solution seeking a problem that doesn’t exist. Our industry has been successfully operating for decades, without major conflict, guided by the planning already inherent in the five year offshore leasing process mandated under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Thus while we believe the overall idea of coordination has good merit, the devil will certainly be in the eventual implementation of the Plan. The good news is that there is an opportunity for broad public comment on the draft Plan. We welcome the opportunity to be a part of the conversation as we believe the offshore energy industry has been underrepresented in the planning process. We hope the process will provide sufficient time for the intentions of and need for the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan to be diligently vetted.”

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