President Obama Assigns USD 169.4 Million for Development of U.S. Offshore Resources
President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget request, announced yesterday, includes $169.4 million to fund the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which is charged with managing the Nation’s offshore energy and mineral resources in a way that promotes efficient and environmentally responsible energy development through oil and gas leasing, renewable energy development, and a commitment to rigorous scientific studies.
“BOEM’s priorities advance the Administration’s commitment to an all-of-the-above energy strategy that encourages safe and environmentally responsible production of domestic oil and gas resources and expands the development of renewable sources of energy. Targeted increases included in the budget request reflect the importance of BOEM programs, and we are committed to maximizing the efficiency of our programs in light of fiscal constraints,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.
The budget requests continued funding to fulfill BOEM’s program implementation responsibilities, which include leasing and planning for conventional energy development through implementation of the Five Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, planning for individual lease sales and conducting post-sale review of companies’ exploration and development plans. BOEM also manages the development of offshore renewable energy resources – including implementation of the Secretary’s “Smart from the Start” initiative to accelerate leasing in offshore wind energy areas off of U.S. coasts.
In support of both its conventional and renewable energy programs, BOEM conducts extensive analysis, including environmental review, resource assessment, and economic analysis. Applied research through BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program supports science-based decision-making.
The budget proposes an increase of $8.7 million above the FY 2012 enacted level to support a number of high-priority initiatives. These include: developing an “ePlans” Portal to digitize exploration and development plan processing functions and increase efficiency; acquiring and managing geological and geophysical data for the Atlantic; enhancing BOEM’s air quality regulatory program in light of new statutory responsibilities; advancing offshore wind lease sales; increasing capacity to review plans to explore and develop offshore Alaska; and expanding BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program in light of increasing demand for sand and gravel resources for coastal restoration purposes.
Press release, April 11, 2013; Image: Vattenfall