Today, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, made a statement regarding the Department of Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) newly proposed five-year plan to potentially lease 14 new offshore oil and gas sites between 2017 and 2022. The proposed number of sites is lower than the 15 included in the President’s current plan and well below the 31 included in the plan that former DOI Secretary Ken Salazar discarded.

“Fourteen potential offshore lease sales in five years is a clear example of the President’s refusal to lead and provide access to domestic resources,” said Vitter. “Essentially, Interior and BOEM’s five-year plan is a distraction from the fact that generating jobs, improving the economy, and leading us toward energy independence are not among this Administration’s priorities. The current price in oil doesn’t mean we need to stop fighting for a long-term, sound energy policy, and I’ll keep pushing my legislation.”

Since President Obama was elected, Vitter has been urging the Administration to stop putting large portions of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off limits for leasing. Earlier this year, Vitter introduced legislation to change the OCS 5-year leasing program from 2015 through 2020 to open more areas off the East and West coasts for exploration and also increase federal offshore revenue sharing for energy producing states. Click here to read more.