EnerGeo Alliance Welcomes NMFS' Announcement on Revised GOM Regulations

Nearly a year after publicly admitting to MMPA rule deficiencies, NMFS has proposed modifications to the regulations on geoscience activities in the GOM

Houston, Texas, U.S., Jan. 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The EnerGeo Alliance today issued the following statement from President Nikki Martin in response to NMFS’ publication of a revised Incidental Take Rule (ITR) related to geoscience surveys on the outer continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico to correct math errors that have hampered energy development in the U.S. for more than a year.

“The EnerGeo Alliance and its members appreciate that NMFS is finally taking action to correct mathematical errors in their Rule. We are currently reviewing the proposed revisions and hope that the final revised rule will result in the immediate issuance of Letters of Authorization that will allow ordinary geoscience survey work to be conducted in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico without further undue delays. We continue to remain concerned about other issues in the Rule that do not appear to be addressed in the proposed revisions.

“In April 2022, the National Marine Fisheries Service acknowledged that a mathematical error in its Rule that ultimately led to a massive backlog in the permits required for ordinary offshore geoscience work necessary to identify and increase production of energy at a time we need it most.

“For more than 50 years, the energy geoscience industry has demonstrated that operations and the marine environment can successfully co-exist in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world. The Gulf of Mexico has the world’s lowest carbon intensity after only the North Sea. Geoscience activities in the United States are tightly regulated to ensure environmental protection during the course of projects. 

“We would like to thank Congress for taking action to help address the outstanding backlog of Letter of Authorization (LOAs) in Gulf of Mexico energy permitting to position the U.S. as a leader in developing the energy resources that are desperately needed to address the global energy crisis. Permits that should take two to four weeks are now taking 100 days or more. Hopefully, the permitting trend can be reversed quickly following NOAA’s correction.

“For most Americans, energy is not a partisan issue. It is a daily necessity: a way to get to work, light and heat for their homes or power for their business or workplace. With the recent winter storm and others coming that could cost Americans $14.1 billion more for energy than last year, a critical federal offshore leasing plan still pending and the global energy crisis simmering, it is time to get serious, factual and non-partisan about energy policy.

“As the global energy demand evolves, we believe that all policymakers and energy companies, providing mainstay, alternative, and low-carbon solutions should have access to reliable data and analysis to support their forward-moving efforts. EnerGeo will continue to work on behalf of the energy geoscience industry to hold NMFS accountable to implementing scientifically accurate and efficient regulations impacting our members and citizens of this nation.”


About the EnerGeo Alliance

Founded in 1971, the EnerGeo Alliance is a global trade association for the energy geoscience industry, the intersection where earth science and energy meet. The EnerGeo Alliance and its member companies span more than 50 countries, and together, unify to open the gateway to the safe discovery, development, and delivery of mainstay sources of energy, alternative energy and low-carbon energy solutions that meet our growing world’s needs.


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