True energy security will come from diversifying the U.S. energy portfolio, including its offshore energy sources. Developing a mix of offshore energy sources can mitigate risks from volatile prices and other economic impacts, reduce dependence on outside producers, help meet climate change commitments, and create greater certainty and confidence for businesses, investors, utilities, and communities. In the foreseeable future, the U.S. will continue to rely on domestic offshore oil and gas production. The Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022 includes millions of acres in the Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and Cook Inlet for exploration and development. But with the persistence of low oil and gas prices, traditional energy companies are facing tough times resulting in sharp cuts to investments in production and exploration in order to weather the storm. Bucking convention, investment in renewables increased in 2015. This year marks a major milestone for domestic offshore wind energy. Deepwater Wind will become the first U.S. wind energy project in operation with an expected start date later this summer. This project is leading the way for an emerging industry that has been gaining momentum. Offshore wind has the potential to ramp up quickly with recent announcements to meet the Paris climate change commitments; the Administration awarding more offshore wind energy leases in the Atlantic and Pacific; and more confidence for businesses, investors, and utilities. CHOW 2016 will look at the state of America’s changing offshore energy portfolio; factors affecting future oil and gas exploration and the potential mid- to long-term implications and production lags due to current market conditions; and how wind energy is primed to become a bigger contributor to the energy mix.
Dawn M Martin | Vice Chair and Treasurer, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
Monica Trauzzi | Managing Editor & Host, E&ETV/E7E Publishing
Abigail Ross Hopper | Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Department of the Interior
John Weber | Executive Director, Northeast Regional Ocean Council
Erik Milito | Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
Nancy Spoko | Manager, Advocacy and Federal Legislative Affairs, American Wind Energy Association