If you would like to send a prepared letter supporting the Draft Proposed Program, you can do so through the Consumer Energy Alliance website. You can personalize the form letter, and are encouraged to do so. (Link: http://consumerenergyalliance.org/?page_id=3775)
If you would like to submit comments directly to the MMS, either online or by post, please visit the MMS for instructions. (LINK: http://www.mms.gov/5-year/2010-2015DPPComments.htm)
The U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) manages the nation’s oil and natural gas resources located on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). It does this through a formal multi-year, multi-step process resulting in a 5-year leasing program in accordance with projected national energy needs.
Last year, as oil prices soared, the MMS began a new 5-Year Planning Process for 2010-2015 (Link: http://www.mms.gov/5-year/2010-2015New5-YearHome.htm) that included sales in areas previously off-limits due to Congressional moratoria or Presidential withdrawal.
The second step in the formal 5-Year process is the development of a Draft Proposed Program (Link: http://www.mms.gov/5-year/PDFs/2010-2015/DPP%20FINAL%20(HQPrint%20with%20landscape%20maps).pdf).
According to the MMS website in the Draft Proposed Program “[the] MMS proposes 31 OCS lease sales in all or some portion of 12 of the 26 planning areas – 4 areas off Alaska, 2 areas off the Pacific coast, 3 areas in the Gulf of Mexico, and 3 areas off the Atlantic coast.”
“The DPP is just a starting place, designed to encourage discussions about the OCS areas of greatest interest and potential. Any new areas that are included in the final program will not be available for leasing until the 5-Year Program has been completed and approved. No area can be leased without being included in the then current approved 5-year program.”
AAPG has two current statements approved by its Executive Committee that support OCS exploration and development. The first, entitled Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Resources (http://dpa.aapg.org/gac/statements/atlanticOCSResources.cfm), recommends the responsible development of oil and natural gas resources on the Atlantic OCS. The second, entitled Offshore OCS Access (http://dpa.aapg.org/gac/statements/offshoreOCSaccess.cfm), states that “AAPG supports the full exploration and production of the petroleum resources of the Outer Continental Shelf and Slope of the United States.”
The MMS website has additional information about the MMS 5-Year OCS Leasing program (http://www.mms.gov/5-year/).