The governors from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia appealed to U.S. Interior Department Secretary-nominee Sally Jewell to embrace an energy blueprint rolled out by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
Murkowski, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, issue published a 121-page proposal for the U.S. energy sector. In it, she calls for more work in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic OCS.
"We applaud this proposal and sincerely hope that the administration under your guidance can work with us and our congressional colleagues to enact these commonsense measures," their letter to Jewell reads.
In a 5-year lease plan outlined in November 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the resource potential in the Atlantic OCS "is not well understood and surveys of these areas are incomplete and out of date."
Jack Gerard, president and chief executive officer of the American Petroleum Institute, said the region deserves a closer look.
"It would be irresponsible for our government leaders not to allow exploration and development utilizing the latest technologies to learn exactly how much energy we have," he said.