Source: ARA

Every five years, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the government agency responsible for oil and gas leasing in the U.S. offshore, develops a five-rear Plan for development of the Outer Continental Shelf. That plan will determine where and how often oil and gas lease sales will occur during the period 2010-2015. If an area is not made available in the 5-Year Plan, oil and gas leasing will not occur in the area until beyond 2015. The five-year plan process is very public, with multiple opportunities for stakeholders to participate. Environmental activists are expected to turn out in high numbers, so it is crucial that agriculture have a loud voice.

The industry clearly needs a strong response at these hearings to ensure that the Administration knows that Ag Retailers and Distributors, as significant energy consumers, support increased domestic supplies. Oil and natural gas, especially resources located offshore in federal waters, are vital to our energy and economic future. Utilizing this resource increases our domestic supply, while decreasing America's dependence on foreign oil, thus magnifying it's importance. For more information about domestic access, click here.

If you would like to speak at one of the meetings listed below, you will need to RSVP to and register at the sign-in table on the day of the meeting. Speakers from the general public will receive up to three minutes to present oral comments. In order to accommodate the maximum number of speakers, time limits will be strictly enforced.

The hearing locations are:

Wednesday April 8
Tulane University McAlister Auditorium
New Orleans
McAlister Drive between Freret and Willow Streets
6823 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

Tuesday April 14
Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center
600 W. Seventh Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99501

Thursday April 16
University of California - San Francisco's Mission Bay Conference Cener
San Francisco
Robertson Auditorium
1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA 94158