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EnerGeo Alliance Testified on the Solutions to Secure America’s Offshore Energy Future

Nikki Martin, President and CEO of EnerGeo Alliance, testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee - Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on “Assessing Solutions to Secure America's Offshore Energy Future.”

/EIN News/ -- Washington D.C., U.S., April 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Nikki Martin testified on behalf of EnerGeo Alliance before the U.S. House of Representatives, highlighting the critical role that energy geoscience plays in both securing America’s offshore energy and in the energy evolution. Focusing on the America’s offshore energy future, Nikki Martin emphasized the necessity of modernizing the Outer continental shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) , Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other relevant statutes to rectify the existing delays for geoscience survey authorizations, and the need to implement regulations to provide for efficient carbon capture and storage projects on the Outer Continental Shelf and the Gulf of Mexico.  

In her testimony, the EnerGeo President and CEO noted how the geoscience industry is the starting point of virtually any energy development needed to support global increasing energy demand, “no matter the preferred or prioritized energy source.” 

“As nations develop and implement their energy evolution goals to make reliable, affordable energy available to their citizens and meet any Net Zero Emissions (NZE) policy ambitions, it is essential to understand that those goals cannot and will not be realized without the critical data and technology the geoscience industry provides. (...) Meeting growing demand for energy that is more accessible, affordable, reliable, and cleaner will require greater collaboration and geoscience-driven energy policies.” 

Nikki Martin highlighted the challenges that the geoscience industry is currently facing, stating “Despite –or precisely because of—its importance, the permitting of this activity is too often stalled in regulatory reviews without accountable timelines, and impeded by activists opposed to the energy development that could follow—whether that’s petroleum, natural gas, or even wind.”  

“In order to stimulate new geoscience activity, policymakers must prioritize geoscience-driven energy policies and regulatory frameworks that remove uncertainty and delay, promote timely permitting decisions, and support a quick pace of return on investment. Attracting investment in new data and products, which in turn enhances the government’s resource evaluation, also requires regular and robust lease rounds." 

Nikki Martin pointed out certain aspects of BOEM authorization process, particularly those linked to the MMPA, that are causing delays in the geoscience surveys: “MMPA authorizations are often the primary cause of administrative delay in the offshore geoscience survey permitting process. In the past decade, these problems have manifested in routinely delayed permitting processes, inconsistent and misguided analyses of potential impacts, and opportunistic advocacy litigation intended to block or impede offshore development”.   

EnerGeo members have identified recommendations to make the BOEM geoscience permitting process more efficient, including: Establishing a certain timeline for permit review and approval; creating an electronic permit application process; creating a catalogue of vessel information and certificates, and a catalogue of equipment used in offshore geoscience activities; introducing streamlined permitting processes for geoscience activities in areas of the OCS that are not included in the 5-year Oil & Gas Leasing Program. 

Regarding the CCS permitting process, Nikki Martin emphasized the necessity for long overdue regulations, to achieve “expanded permitting and permitting capacity with unambiguous, clear, concise regulations and timely permitting decisions. Further, regulations should prioritize timely, accessible geoscience data throughout the life of the asset.” 

“We urge Congress to review OCSLA, the MMPA, the ESA, and other relevant statutes and pass meaningful modernizing provisions, that will rectify the existing delays for geoscience survey authorizations and urge the administration to implement regulations to provide for efficient carbon capture and storage projects on the OCS. These are necessary steps to ensure the continued development of U.S. energy resources and low-carbon solutions for future generations,” Martin concluded. 

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About EnerGeo Alliance 
Founded in 1971, EnerGeo Alliance is a global trade alliance 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. 


Michela Fumagalli
                    EnerGeo Alliance 
                    713-584-3391
                    mfumagalli@energeoalliance.org
                    
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