During testimony before the U.S Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland confirmed that, despite delays in implementation from the previous Administration, the Interior Department will release the Proposed Program - the next step in the five-year offshore energy planning process - by June 30, 2022, which is the expiration of the current program. A Proposed Program is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development.
“The previous Administration stopped work on the new five-year plan in 2018, so there has been a lot to do to catch up. Varying, conflicting litigation has also been a factor. As we take this next step, we will follow the science and the law, as we always do. This requires a robust and transparent review process that includes input from states, the public and Tribes to inform our decision-making. We take this responsibility seriously without any pre-judgment of the outcome,” said Secretary Haaland.
The National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, developed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, establishes a five-year schedule for its oil and gas leasing program as required by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. More information on the steps in the development of a five-year plan can be found on BOEM's website.