Arizona is not immune to the impact of the Obama Administration decision last month to bar offshore drilling in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, says one Grand Canyon State veteran leader.
"Like every other state in the Union, Arizona sends our share of men and women overseas to fight our wars and defend our country," said Harry Prestanski, veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and volunteer chair of Arizona Vets4Energy. "And many of them are serving in unstable parts of the world where, unfortunately, we currently buy too much of our oil."
The Obama Administration’s decision would prevent oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), located off the shores of mid-Atlantic states. Some experts believe the OCS actually contains more than the 4.7 billion barrels of oil and 37 trillion cubic feet of natural gas previously identified through older seismic testing technology.
In announcing the administration’s decision, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said it “protects the Atlantic for future generations.”
Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, took issue with Jewell’s assessment.
“The decision appeases extremists who seek to stop oil and natural gas production which would increase the cost of energy for American consumers and close the door for years to creating new jobs, new investments and boosting energy security,” said Gerard. “This is not how you harness America’s economic and diplomatic potential.”
Prestanski agreed with Gerard and said the administration’s decision will impact national security and the ability to create new jobs for U.S. veterans.
"Every step backward from energy independence is a step back from strengthening our national security,” said Prestanski. “It’s also a step backward for veterans who have served this country and many of whom would have filled the new energy-related jobs that have been stymied by the Administration's decision."