Sea Technology

APR 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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20 st / April 2017 before leaving office, but the Obama Administration failed to adopt it. A new Interior secretary and new leadership at the Bu- reau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will be of major importance to the offshore energy industry. While there have been some controversial Trump cabinet appoint- ments and delays in the confirmation process, the buzz sur- rounding the Interior Department has been relatively drama free. Those floated for positions within Interior, including now Interior Secretary Nominee Ryan Zinke and Deputy In- terior Secretary Nominee David Bernhardt, are thoughtful and well-respected people who would serve our industry well. In short, the outlook for 2017 is much brighter than it was for 2016. The offshore market shows signs of recovery, and, for the first time in years, we have an administration that could give the energy industry a fair shot at developing our offshore energy resources. The National Ocean Indus- tries Association (NOIA) looks forward to working with the incoming administration to develop a truly balanced energy policy that creates a path forward for offshore growth and development. ST air impact. Moreover, this rulemaking has been flawed from the start due to inadequate consultation with affected states and incomplete studies used to inform the rule. Since most of the studies to quantify air quality impacts are still under- way, the Trump Administration should simply halt efforts to complete this rule until the studies are finalized and vetted for scientific soundness. Another troubling regulatory action concerns decommis- sioning costs and financial assurance. While the Depart- ment of the Interior recently granted a much appreciated six-month delay in the implementation of the Financial As- surance and Bonding Notice to Lessees (NTL 2016-N01), it would also be more than reasonable for the Trump Adminis- tration to impose an additional stay, thus allowing regulators and industry even more time to develop a more responsible and sustainable program through a proper rulemaking pro- cess. The cost of bonding and assessing the correct amount of the bond, properly discounted, should be a joint effort involving the financial market, operators and regulators. At this time, those affected parties are still trying to identify the problem. More time is needed to develop a reasonable, fair and workable fix. The Trump Administration should also rollback President Obama's politically driven decision to drop proposed lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska from the 2017 to 2022 offshore oil and gas leasing program. By expe- diting a new five-year offshore leasing program, the Trump Administration could replace the current five-year plan well before it expires in 2022. This would not be an unprec- edented move. An off-cycle five-year program for 2010 to 2015 was expedited by the George W. Bush Administration Randall Luthi is president of the National Ocean In- dustries Association (NOIA). An attorney and ranch- er from Freedom, Wyoming, Luthi has also served as director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and speaker of the Wyoming House of Rep- resentatives.

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