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A Five Year Program consists of a schedule of oil and gas lease sales indicating the size, timing, and location of proposed leasing activity the Secretary determines will best meet national energy needs for the 5-year period following its approval. An area must be included in an approved five year program in order to be offered for leasing. Section 18 of the OCS Lands Act prescribes the major steps involved in developing a five year program including extensive opportunities for public comment. Under section 18, a five year program must to the maximum extent practicable, strike a balance between the potentials for environmental damage, discovery of oil and gas, and adverse impacts on the coastal zone, based on a variety factors required under section 18.

The Proposed Final 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program (PFP) establishes a schedule that is used as a basis for considering where and when oil and gas leasing might be appropriate over a 5-year period.

On June 28, 2012, Secretary Ken Salazar announced the PFP, which is the last of three documents that DOI will issue in connection with establishing the new Five Year Program for 2012 through 2017. The PFP followed the January 2009 Draft Proposed Program (DPP) and the November 2011 Proposed Program (PP). As required by section 18 of the OCS Lands Act, the PFP has been submitted to the President and Congress for a minimum of 60 days, after which the Secretary may approve the Five Year Program. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released the Proposed Final Program decision document (with supporting analyses) and the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) immediately after the announcement.

From the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management