Next Steps to Reform the Regulations Governing Offshore Oil and Gas Planning and Leasing
30 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2017
Date Written: October 18, 2016
Pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), the U.S. Department of the Interior manages offshore oil and gas activities in federal waters. While the agency has proposed and enacted important improvements to the rules that govern some of those activities, it has never comprehensively modernized the regulations that govern offshore oil and gas planning, lease sales, or the review and permitting of exploratory drilling. These phases of the process are overseen by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). In this Article, we argue that fundamental reform is necessary and highlight a series of key themes and topics that must be addressed to improve the regulatory process and promote better, more consistent management outcomes for offshore energy production and environmental stewardship. While the Article draws on examples from frontier areas — in particular the U.S. Arctic Ocean — the recommended changes would apply to and benefit all areas of the Outer Continental Shelf.
Keywords: BOEM, Interior, Offshore, Leasing, Arctic, Oil, Gas, Outer Continental Shelf, Ocean, Offshore Drilling, OCSLA
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation