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Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act “Brings Offshore Leasing into the 21st Century”

September 6, 2016
Press Release


WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) issued the following statement Tuesday (Sept. 9) upon passage of H.R. 5577, the Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act:

“The process for bidding offshore leases has been outdated for far too long,” Westerman said.“The Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act brings offshore leasing into the 21st Century which allows for increased transparency in the bidding process. This bill brings the process into the light and makes public information that has previously been difficult to obtain.”

According to the House Republican Policy Committee, H.R. 5577 would:

  • Amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to provide the Secretary of the Interior with the authority and direction to conduct internet-based, sealed-bid offshore oil and natural gas lease sales;

  • Require the Secretary to meet specific requirements in conducting internet-based sales, including: having an independent observer present; providing a “bid-map” to all bidders so that they may verify their bids prior to the bid-reading; ensuring data security for all bidder data; and feedback from bidders in order to continually improve the leasing process; and

  • Provide increased data transparency measures to ensure that the Secretary not only discloses all available data related to sale-day statistics, but also ensures such data is made publicly available and easily accessible on a web-based format; and

  • Require the Secretary to conduct not less than one workshop with viable bidders to the first internet-based lease sale in order to ensure feedback and an ability for bidders to familiarize themselves with the new platform.