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14 SECTION A • The Ocean/Marine Market • BG 2017 www.sea-technology.com proposed lease sale, as well as their governors, various other state and local elected officials and stakeholder groups from other industries, supported the Atlantic lease sale. Further- more, much of the debate has been informed, or, more ac- curately, misinformed, by seismic survey data collected over three decades ago. Those data are practically ancient given the tremendous science and technology advances made over the past 30 years. There is no telling how much more recoverable oil and gas we could find if the administration would stop dragging its feet on issuing permits for safe and modern seismic surveys. After taking the Atlantic lease sale off the table, envi- ronmentalists turned their attention to Alaska, making the lease sales for the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas anything but certain. Anti-fossil fuel groups conveniently ignore that 90 percent of Alaska state revenues are generated by the oil and gas industry and that 72 percent of Alaskans support off- shore development. Alaskans, and especially Alaska Native communities, know that oil and gas is the lifeblood of the state. In addition, top military leaders, including former Na- tional Security adviser to President Obama General James Jones, believe that Arctic energy development is vital to our national security. No matter how good our technology is (and it is very, very good), oil and gas operators cannot just go out and drill a well and produce oil and gas at the drop of a hat. It can take 10 or more years, from exploration to development, be- fore a single drop of oil is produced. So, when a lease sale is dropped from a federal Five-Year Plan, it could be 15 years or more before that lease is reoffered, explored, developed and begins production. This is why we need access today to promote production tomorrow. Likewise, our industry is experiencing an unprecedented onslaught of costly and highly prescriptive regulations. In- dustry estimates place the combined industry costs of three of the largest offshore rules—well control, Arctic drilling and air quality—at more than $55 billion over a 10-year period. Furthermore, the impact would be devastating for the rest of the economy, potentially reducing U.S. GDP by a cumula- tive total in the hundreds of billions of dollars. These rules will neither improve safety nor provide environmental pro- tections. In fact, the well control rule's provisions on drilling margins may actually increase risk, the Arctic drilling rule does not accurately reflect current industry capabilities, and the air quality rule was proposed before government studies meant to inform the rule were completed. While these policies and regulations threaten the future of U.S. energy leadership, the good news is that U.S. con- sumers are currently no longer at the mercy of OPEC or Rus- sia like they were just a few short years ago. Because of smart policies that went into effect 10 or more years ago, such as 2006's Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOME- SA), 88 percent of the energy we use in the U.S. is now domestically produced, and U.S. oil imports have been dramatically reduced. The U.S. is the global leader in oil and gas production, but we can only continue this energy renaissance with the right federal policies. Now, it's time to make sure our elected leaders are on the same page as our scientists, engineers and business leaders, and understand what it takes to keep America running. ST Randall Luthi is president of the National Ocean Industries Association.