Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created to help expand the dialogue between the energy and consuming sectors to improve understanding of energy security, more effectively develop and use both renewable and oil & gas energy resources in an environmentally conscious manner, create sound energy policy and maintain stable energy prices for consumers.
The Straits Lighting Company is a high efficiency lighting firm headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan. It specializes in LED lighting solutions for commercial, industrial and governmental clients, driving economic benefit through environmental sustainability. Given their vast network of manufacturing relationships, Straits Lighting is able to provide exceptionally cost-competitive and custom lighting solutions to meet the needs of their clients.
Straits Lighting began with its founders’ travels throughout Europe and Asia. There, they witnessed a superior form of lighting technology beginning to take hold: Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lighting. In those parts of the globe where energy costs are high and energy supply is inconsistent, LED technologies are emerging as the gold standard of energy efficiency, visual acuity, and environmental responsibility. Straits Lighting is a leader at bringing these solutions to domestic clients. Straits Lighting provides a turn-key solution for clients to decrease energy costs, extend the useful life of their lighting, and improve the quality of light in their facilities. Straits Lighting also offers a full suite of services to manage the entire process including: conducting energy efficiency audits; helping CFOs assess comprehensive business cases for lighting projects; performing lighting design and photometric analysis; facilitating access to public and private incentives, grants and rebates; managing disposal of existing fixtures; and conducting follow-up evaluations to confirm promised savings.
“The Straits Lighting Company is excited to become an Affiliate of the Consumer Energy Alliance,” said Ricky Singh, Chief Operating Officer of The Straits Lighting Company. “Energy efficiency plays an extremely important role in driving sustainable business practices from both an environmental and financial perspective. We envision CEA playing a key role in helping to educate the public about the benefits of these new innovations in energy efficient lighting solutions”
“Consumer Energy Alliance is very pleased to welcome The Straits Lighting Company as a partner in the discussion on rational energy policy,” said CEA-Midwest Director Ryan Scott. “The primary function of CEA is to unite energy consumers and producers in order to develop and implement a balanced, national energy policy that supports domestic energy production. By providing energy-efficient lighting solutions, The Straits Lighting Company can help energy consumers of all stripes to reduce their electricity usage and the amount of funds they have to devote to electricity every day.”
June 04, 2013
Contact: Shawn Martini, email@example.com
HOUSTON – Today United Airlines, AltAir Fuels and Honeywell UOP announced plans to bring commercial-scale, cost-competitive biofuels to aviation in Southern California beginning in 2014. The refinery outside of Los Angeles will produce 30 million gallons of renewable diesel and jet fuel per year and will be the first commercial-scale producer of renewable jet fuel in the world. United has agreed to purchase 15 million gallons of renewable jet fuel over three years to power flights from its Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) hub.
“Consumer Energy Alliance applauds United Airlines and AltAir Fuels on their new venture in expanding the use of renewable fuels in commercial aviation,” said David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA). “As a large consumer of energy, the airline industry understands the need for an all of the above approach to energy production and the new United-led effort is a step in the right direction to help diversify sources of domestic energy supply for travelers and shippers.”
John Heimlich, Vice President and Chief Economist for Airlines for America and Chairman of Consumer Energy Alliance also weighed in with the following quote, “As an advocate for increasing all forms of domestic energy, Consumer Energy Alliance looks forward to the expanded production of renewable transportation fuels in California and beyond.
“The United-AltAir partnership will provide an economic boost to the region and increase fuel supply by bringing back online an idled refinery and many of its previously displaced workers. Repurposing the refinery to include renewable jet fuel will further the airline industry’s ability to sustainably drive economic growth through the LAX hub, benefiting Southern California more broadly. Today’s announcement is a tremendous step forward for commercial aviation and for alternative fuels.”
Consumer Advocate David Holt Says Plan Can “Strike a Balance”
Houston, TX, May 22, 2013 – The State of Alaska’s effort to split the cost of assessing the resource potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 area is a clarion example of how state and federal government can coordinate to the benefit of the energy consumer, said CEA President David Holt.
“Good public policy strikes a balance,” said Holt, whose organization advocates for energy consumers. “There is nobody who cares more about the environmental standards of a region than those who live there. A coordinated effort between Alaska and the U.S. Department of Interior will give all interests a clear view of the facts. Good information regarding energy resource potential can ensure policy makers strike a productive balance for development and conservation.”
On Monday, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Sullivan announced that the State of Alaska would fund up to $50 million to to conduct an Oil & Gas Resource Evaluation & Exploration Proposal for the ANWR 1002 Area.
The U.S. State Department finishes this week collecting public reaction to their draft environmental statement on the Keystone XL pipeline it issued in March. Consumer Energy Alliance is a strong advocate for advancing the KXL pipeline as part of an “all of the above” American energy plan. Along with its state based partners, CEA recruited over 300,000 people to petition the U.S. State Department in support of the KXL pipeline. There is a strong support, both in public opinion and among those directly impacted by the pipeline’s construction. The numbers make the case:
$5.3 billionis the amount of money TransCanada will invest in the United States to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
300,000 is the number of Americans Consumer Energy Alliance and its grassroots partners recruited in April to petition the U.S. State Department in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day to U.S. refineries.
50,000 people living along the route of the proposed pipeline who told the U.S. State Department they are in favor of the jobs and energy security created by the Keystone XL project.
42,100is the number of new jobs which will be created by Keystone XL construction according to the U.S. State Department. TransCanada says it will hire welders, mechanics, electricians, pipefitters, laborers, safety coordinators, and heavy equipment operators to complete construction.
1,676days have passed since TransCanada first applied for a presidential permit to build the KXL pipeline.
200 state legislators have written to the U.S. State Department with their support for the Keystone XL pipeline.
66 percent of Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline. Five national polls have a majority of Americans supporting Keystone XL.
62 U.S. Senators voted in April to support Keystone XL.
43Economic development officers from along the route are supporting Keystone XL.
37Mayors and city council members living along the route who support Keystone XL.
20County officials representing communities along the Keystone XL.
8individual state legislatures have passed resolutions, in at least one House, supporting the Keystone XL pipeline.
1is the number of U.S. Presidents who have visited the construction site of the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project.
Consumer group helps form industry taskforce to improve collaboration and safety
HOUSTON, April 23, 2013 – Oil and gas companies have joined forces with the trucking industry to promote improved road safety and traffic management in heavily travelled producing areas like the Eagle Ford in south central Texas, the Marcellus region in the Northeast and the Bakken in the upper Midwest.
The American Petroleum Institute, the American Trucking Associations and the National Tank Truck Carriers have collected nearly two dozen recommendations for roadway safety and more considerate driving practices. The recommendations will be used as important reminders for member companies and to help develop informational materials on the need to provide safe and responsible trucking operations for the mutual benefit of producers, transporters and the communities in which they operate.
The Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance – a broad-based association comprised of transportation, agriculture, businesses, consumers and energy organizations – launched the initiative in 2012 to seek improved communications about road safety among its membership and the broader public. The recommendations were formally adopted by the parties at a recent meeting in Houston.
The recommendations are available online and include recommendations to hold frequent meetings with motor carriers to evaluate safety issues, methods for encouraging a culture of safety, techniques to promote access to safety education resources, and practices to properly inform all drivers on the delivery and removal of equipment and materials used during oil and natural gas production.
For their part, producers are encouraged to monitor and enforce requirements for proof of regulatory compliance by motor carriers. It is recommended for both transporters and producers to be sensitive to local impacts and, to the extent possible, “schedule deliveries and movements to minimize the traffic impact on local communities.”
“Consumer Energy Alliance believes that North America has a tremendous opportunity to become energy self-sufficient, spur job creation and growth across the entire US economy and that developing these resources is dependent, in part, on responsible and safe trucking operations,” said David Holt, CEA President. “Member companies of these producing and trucking organizations should be applauded for their voluntary and forward-looking action.”
“The industry is committed to protecting our employees, the environment, and the communities where we operate, all while increasing energy security by safely and responsibly developing the energy America needs to fuel its economy,” said Holly Hopkins, API upstream senior policy advisor. “API and its members participate in many safety outreach programs and educational outreach on safe driving is an extension of API’s 94-year history of promoting and enhancing safety operations.”
Glen Kedzie, American Trucking Associations Vice President, Energy & Environmental Counsel said, “Safety remains ‘Priority 1′ for the trucking industry. Through this collaborative effort of the transportation and energy sectors, along with continued community involvement and education, ATA is confident that these recommendations will go far in improving safety in oil and gas production and exploration transportation activities.”
“Trucks are the essential workhorses of our country’s ability to take advantage of our shale gas and oil resources to become energy independent. It is the trucking industry’s responsibility to provide safe, efficient, and to the extent possible, considerate truck support of this important energy opportunity,” said John Conley, past President of the National Tank Truck Carriers, and Trucking Safety Taskforce co-chair. “We are delighted to partner with the energy industry and the law enforcement community to provide that safe and reliable truck transportation.”
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together consumers, producers and manufacturers to engage in a meaningful dialogue about America’s energy future. Our mission is to help ensure stable prices for consumers and energy security. We believe energy development is something that touches everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary for all consumers to actively engage in the conversation about how we develop and diversify our energy resources and energy’s importance to the economy. CEA promotes a thoughtful dialogue to help produce our abundant energy supply, and balance our energy needs with our nation’s environmental and conservation goals.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight.
National Tank Truck Carriers is a national trade association that represents the interest’s t of tank truck carriers dedicated to safe and efficient transportation. Based in Arlington, Virginia, NTTC has 210 carrier members and 300 associate members.
~ Consumer Energy Alliance and Associated Industries of Florida gather more than 27,000 comments from Floridians supportive of the pipeline~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), in partnership with Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), recruited 27,787 Florida residents who petitioned the U.S. Department of State to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline because of the jobs, energy and economic security generated by the project.
“Stronger energy security and lower fuel prices aren’t the only things that come with the new Keystone XL Pipeline. Construction will bring new jobs, new customers, new business, new sales and new investment,” said Brewster Bevis, AIF Senior Vice President, State and Federal Affairs. “Investing in infrastructure projects is a big part of what can be done to boost the economy, and we need that boost now.”
The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would deliver 830,000 barrels of U.S. and Canadian crude oil per day to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas. Its construction will help create more than 42,000 jobs nationwide, and generate more than $20 billion in new economic growth for the struggling U.S. economy.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline will be the safest pipeline ever built in the United State. Not only will it help reduce fuel prices for families coast to coast, it will dramatically improve our energy security by reducing our reliance on overseas oil,” said Kevin Doyle, CEA Florida Executive Director. “These comments that we are submitting today from thousands of Floridians reflect what people across the country are saying: we need jobs, we need a stronger economy, and we need to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
Keystone XL received approval from Canada’s National Energy Board in 2010, but the project also requires a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of State because it crosses an international border.
In January, a bipartisan coalition of 53 senators, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), sent a letter to President Obama urging him to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. The U.S. Senate voted in March to approve the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline in an amendment to the Senate budget. Both Sen. Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) voted in favor of the pipeline.
CEA today urged the Obama Administration to swiftly approve the Keystone XL pipeline given the large economic and national security benefits the project will provide.
GRAND ISLAND, NE – Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President of Consumer Energy Alliance, provided comments supporting the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline today at the U.S. State Department’s Public Hearing on the project and the agency’s environmental review. As part of those comments, Whatley made the following statement:
“CEA strongly supports the Keystone XL pipeline because of the economic benefits it will provide – not only to Nebraska, but for the nation as a whole. According to a recent study by well-respected Nebraskan economist Ernie Goss, the pipeline will support an average of 916 new direct and indirect jobs in Nebraska per year between 2013 and 2029 with a peak of 5,514 jobs during the two-year construction period. Even more, this project will generate over $1.8 billion worth of economic activity in the state, including over $58 million in property taxes. That’s a lot of money that will go to improving Nebraska’s public schools, roads, and hospitals.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline project will also strengthen our national energy security. Canada is our neighbor, our ally, and our largest trading partner. The 830,000 barrels of oil per day that this pipeline will bring to GulfCoast refineries will be coming from places like Montana, the Dakotas and Canada. It is not subject to violent revolutions and chronic instability present in Venezuela and the Middle East. It cannot be used as a political tool like Russian oil can. It is highly discounted from the prices we pay for oil from the Persian Gulf and will help drive down fuel prices for both our military and American drivers.
“Not only will the pipeline bring great economic and energy security benefits to Nebraska and the United States, it will do so without harming our water or our environment. The State Department’s extensive environmental review of the pipeline once again concludes that the pipeline will not adversely affect the local environment. Pipelines remain the safest and most energy-efficient means of transporting fuel. Currently, over 2.6 million miles of pipeline crisscross the United States, delivering oil and natural gas safely to millions of American consumers. Fortunately, Keystone XL will be built will state-of-the-art technology and will be the safest pipeline constructed in the United States.
“Given these facts, it’s not surprising that a majority of Americans support the project. A recent Pew Research poll found that 66% of the American public supports the project, support which “spans most demographic and partisan groups.”
“In closing, I am asking – on behalf of energy consumers nationwide – for the Obama Administration to swiftly finalize its review process and grant the Presidential Permit to allow construction of this vital infrastructure.”
Report card highlights the significant advancements achieved in offshore development by the oil and natural gas industry which are protecting our environment and helping the U.S. economy advance.
HOUSTON, TX – Today, the Oil Spill Commission Action Project released its second report card, which outlined the progress that the Obama Administration, Congress and the oil and natural gas industry have achieved in implementing the group’s recommendations. The report card gave high marks to the oil and natural gas industry for the many improvements that have been made over the past three years, which have increased the overall safety of the industry and its ability to respond to unforeseen emergencies.
As part of this review, the project provided letter grades to progress made by stakeholders, as well as to progress achieved in individual areas of focus. Leading in this capacity were the Obama Administration and the oil and natural gas industry, who received a letter grade of B and B- respectively. The report also provided high grades to efforts to increase safety and environmental protection as well as spill response and containment, both of which received a letter grade of B.
In responding to the announcement, David Holt, President of the Consumer Energy Alliance issued the following statement:
“This is great news for the U.S. economy and U.S. consumers, as it allows us to safely produce our domestic resources at maximum economic benefit and minimum environmental consequence. Today’s report card makes clear the significant progress the oil and natural gas industry has made in implementing the Oil Spill Commission’s recommendations. The U.S. energy revolution is leading our economy and its development’s like this that are making that possible. Ultimately, Americans want affordable energy that doesn’t cause undue harm to the environment where it occurs. This report shows that we can have environmental protection and expanded domestic energy production.”
HOUSTON–Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is pleased to welcome Northrim Bank as its newest affiliate member. Northrim is highly engaged in the Alaska economy, both as a respected banking and financial institution, and providing economics education to public officials, the public at large, and civic and business organizations. Energy production and consumption in Alaska are a lynchpin to the functioning of the local economy. Joe Beedle, Northrim’s President, serves on CEA Alaska’s Advisory Board.
CEA Alaska Executive Director Steve Pratt welcomes Northrim into affiliation with CEA – “Northrim’s community engagement on the economic factors impacting Alaska’s energy consuming and producing sectors is unparalleled in the state. We are extremely excited to partner with their team in educating and advocating for responsible energy policies that can move the state and country forward in terms of energy and national security.”
As a community bank, Northrim is a reflection of the Alaska economy. We are tireless advocates for economic development and energy is a critical industry for Alaska,” said Northrim President and CEO Joe Beedle.
The partnership promises to bring renewed energy to CEA Alaska’s mission as the authoritative voice of the Alaska energy consumer. “We are delighted to add to our membership community stalwarts like Northrim. Working together, we can help our economy take on the significant energy challenges facing policy makers,” noted Steve Pratt.
Speaking at Midland forum, Porter touts Permian gains
At a Thursday forum in Midland, Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter said energy production from the Permian Basin is a key factor in Texas and U.S. energy independence.
“If the United States achieves energy independence, it will be because of the Permian Basin,” he said
The forum, coordinated by Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance and the Permian Basin Petroleum Association was attended by state and local officials, businessmen and women and oil industry reps. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the importance of the Permian to Texas energy production.
Several attendees of the event expressed appreciation at the Commissioners comments, saying they feel that sometimes the Eagle Ford region gets “more than its share of the attention.” Many, including the Commissioner pointed to the dramatic production increases in the basin, which increased by 800,000 barrels per day from 2011 to 2012.
“That’s 800,000 barrels a day of production that we’re not having to import, and that makes a tremendous difference in the balance of trade and the economic vitality of the country,” the Commissioner said.
Porter also mentioned the growth challenges in the region, focusing specifically on road and traffic issues. Asked what can be don’t to help mitigate the impacts, Porter said that something needed to be done, but that it was beyond the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission. Consumer Energy Alliance and several industry partners have convened a Trucking Safety Taskforce to help address issues associated with road safety in areas of energy development. The Commissioner noted that such activities are the best way to start tackling the issue.
Porter also spoke about challenges associated with water, the threats posed by anti-development activists and federal regulation. He thinks federal officials need to defer to state agencies like his own when it comes to regulating oil and gas.
“Both industry and the Commission need to insure our regulations are such that no one can have a legitimate argument against production,” he said.
Houston, TX – Consumer Energy Alliance welcomes Brett A. Vassey, President & CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, to its board of directors.
“Long joined at the hip, energy and manufacturing are in a better position than ever to showcase America’s economic potential,” said John Heimlich, Chairman of CEA Board of Directors. “Brett’s experience working with Virginia manufacturers brings a critical perspective to the CEA board, and we look forward to tapping his skills to advance the interests of energy consumers.”
“CEA has long benefited from Brett’s support and counsel,” said David Holt, CEA President. “Brett understands well how a balanced energy policy helps American consumers and generates many other benefits for the economy. Looking ahead, we will tap his knowledge and experience overseeing the Virginia Manufacturers Association to guide CEA as it continues to grow its membership and reach across the United States.”
“CEA is leading a broad coalition ready to utilize North American energy to boost the the economy, create jobs, and supply American consumers with affordable energy,” said Brett Vassey. “I look forward to helping lead the organization and ensuring CEA continues to deliver a quality service to its members.”
Mr. Vassey brings a depth of experience working within the manufacturing industry, as well as policy development in the Southeast.
Virginia Manufacturers Association represents the Commonwealth’s 6,000 manufacturers, which employ over 220,000 individuals, that contribute over $34 billion to the gross state product, and account for over 80% of the state’s exports to the global economy.
Vassey joins Consumer Energy Alliance board members: John Heimlich, Chairman, Vice President and Chief Economist for Airlines for America; Jennifer Diggins, Vice Chairwoman, Director of Public Affairs for the Nucor Corporation; Mark Pulliam, Treasurer, Solution Partner with Sabre Airline Solutions; Dave Harbour, APR, Commissioner Emeritus, National Association of Regulatory Commissioners, Publisher, Northern Gas Pipelines; Troy Bredenkamp, General Manager, Nebraska Rural Electric Association; and Wayne Zemke, Caterpillar, Incorporated.
Technological Advances Help to Minimize Impact on Environment
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This week, Consumer Energy Alliance will participate at the public hearings in Tallahassee and Panama City Beach which are hosted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). BOEM has completed a draft environmental impact statement for two proposed oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico’s Eastern Planning Area and is seeking public comment on the document.
Lease Sales 225 and 226, scheduled for 2014 and 2016, are part of the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017 (Five Year Program). The Five Year Program makes all areas with the highest-known resource potential available for oil and gas leasing in order to further reduce America’s dependence on overseas oil.
BOEM is holding public hearings to solicit comments on the environmental impact statement from interested citizens and organizations. Comments will be used to prepare the final environmental impact statement for these proposed Eastern Planning Area oil and gas lease sales.
Consumer Energy Alliance – Florida Executive Director Kevin Doyle provided the following comments to the Tallahassee and Panama City Beach public hearings:
As an advocate for consumers, CEA supports offshore energy exploration and production in the eastern planning areas of the Gulf of Mexico. While CEA encourages the development of renewable energy resources, we believe that continued and expanded oil and gas exploration and production is vital to maintaining a reliable energy supply for consumers, reducing our dependence on oil imports, and growing the economy. Utilizing all available domestic oil and gas resources will bring energy prices down for all American consumers and businesses – allowing them to save money, grow their businesses, and create jobs.
In addition to creating jobs, offshore oil and gas development provides substantial government revenue through an expanded tax base and royalty payments. In 2009, offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico generated almost $70 billion of economic value and nearly 400,000 jobs. That same year, the industry provided about $20 billion in revenues to federal, state and local governments through royalties, bonuses and tax collections. According to Wood Mackenzie, oil and natural gas development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico could create 100,000 new jobs in Florida alone.
In 2012, the United States consumed 18.5 million barrels of petroleum products a day, making the U.S. one of the world’s largest petroleum consumers. The United States consumes more energy from petroleum than from any other energy source. Future Eastern Gulf of Mexico energy exploration and production could add significant domestic supplies to help offset the need for overseas imports. It is important that we allow access now because it will years to explore and develop the energy before it can be delivered to consumers.
The Environmental Impact Statement concludes that any environmental impact from offshore oil and gas development in these proposed areas would be minimal if all existing regulatory requirements are met. In the draft EIS, the BOEM examines the potential impact to water quality, air quality, wetlands, marine life, and coastal barriers, among other areas, and each time concludes that given the type and level of activity anticipated, the local environment will not be adversely affected. The draft EIS notes that a myriad of advancements in technology, practice and regulation following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill will further minimize the potential impact of offshore oil and gas development.
Consumer Energy Alliance encourages the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to proceed in a way that allows for the greatest economic benefit to American energy consumers. This means significant access to the eastern planning areas of the Gulf of Mexico for safe and responsible energy exploration and production. Thank you again for allowing us to be here today.
Following one of the most thorough and pragmatic project reviews in our nation’s history it’s time to move forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline
HOUSTON, TX: The draft SEIS issued Friday by the State Department is the first formal step in the agency’s review of TransCanada’s permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline.
CEA Executive Vice-President, Michael Whatley, issued the following statement upon reviewing the draft environmental impact statement:
“For months project opponents have tried to convince the public that moving forward with the pipeline would sacrifice our environment to the benefit of our economy. The draft SEIS from the State Department clearly refutes this false choice.”
“The document clearly shows the project will have minimal environmental impacts when TransCanada implements its proposed project Construction, Mitigation and Reclamation plan (CMRP) and refutes project opponents’ claims that the project will increase carbon emissions from oil sands development.”
“We urge the U.S. State Department to finalize its review and the Administration to quickly approve the cross-border permit which will allow this critical project to move forward, create thousands of high paying jobs and provide the United States with a much-needed economic boost.”
Consumer Group Looks Forward to Future Opportunities for Economic Development, Investment and Job Growth for Region
Pittsburgh, PA – Today Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic praised the Allegheny County Council’s decision to approve responsible shale development on Pittsburgh International Airport and West Mifflin County Airport land. CEA Mid-Atlantic’s Director Mike Mikus recently testified during the Allegheny County Council’s February 7th public hearing held to review a proposal to allow safe, responsible energy production on land surrounding Pittsburgh International Airport and the West Mifflin County Airport.
“We applaud the Allegheny County Council and are encouraged by their decision to support future growth for the county and regional economy,” CEA Mid-Atlantic Director Mike Mikus said. “With the energy-based economy that is emerging in the Pittsburgh region fueled by the growth of the responsible production of the Marcellus Shale formation, this is another great example of the opportunity to create thousands of jobs and bring much-needed financial stability to the region and specifically to the airports.”
Mikus added: “The Airport plan approval clearly demonstrates the positive benefits and opportunities that safe, responsible Marcellus production can bring to our region’s residents and businesses. With estimates that this plan could provide over $500 million in revenue to the struggling airport over the next two decades, Allegheny County is in a tremendous position to grow economically.”
The airport property currently contains about 9,000 acres of land suitable for energy production.
HOUSTON, TX –Consumer Energy Alliance has Named Amelie Hereford as Director of Communications and Affiliate Relations
Amelie Hereford will be in charge of managing internal and external communications to further align CEA’s national and state operations, enhance strategic partnerships with our affiliates, and develop CEA’s national affiliate coordination and outreach.
Before joining CEA, Amelie served as the legislative assistant for Arch Coal’s federal affairs office, acquiring significant experience in legislative affairs and public policy within the energy sector. Upon relocating to Houston to attend graduate school, Amelie continued her career in government affairs as a Political Action Committee Specialist in the utilities industry at CenterPoint Energy. Amelie’s background offers CEA a unique blend of communications, policy and government affairs experience across various energy industries.
“We are all extremely excited to have someone of Amelie’s solid energy industry expertise, public policy background and organizational expertise joining the organization,” said CEA President, David Holt. “With CEA’s anticipated growth and increased visibility in the coming months and years, having Amelie take a leadership role in affiliate relations and development, at the national level and across all regional chapters of CEA, will add tremendous value and strength to the organization’s partnerships and promotion of sound energy policy.”
Amelie has a M.A. in Comparative Politics from the University of Houston and a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia.
The United States continues to a lack a clearly defined national energy policy. Lack of sustained activity at the congressional level has effectively forced policy making in to the hands of federal regulators, many of whom remain constrained by limited resources and near constant litigation by opposition groups. This situation is not only undesirable; it imperils the short- and long-term availability of dependable, affordable energy for consumers.
In this briefing book, CEA identifies a series of policy recommendations that, if enacted, would establish a balanced energy policy that supports thoughtful increases in U.S. energy production and advances in energy efficiency. Ultimately, the recommendations provide a blueprint for a sound energy future defined by greater economic opportunity, more resilient energy security, and affordable, abundant energy.
CEA outlines five policies needed to safeguard energy affordability and continued economic growth.
HOUSTON, TX – Following up on the President’s third State of the Union address, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) today outlined five energy policies that the U.S. should advance to improve positive economic growth, energy stability and affordability. The policies outlined by CEA include:
Approve a National Energy Policy: Due to a lack a clearly defined national energy policy this activity has essentially been forced to the hands of federal regulators. This imperils the short- and long-term availability of dependable, affordable energy for consumers and thus threatens our continued economic advance.
Make Needed Infrastructure Improvements: Quite simply, the nation’s ability to produce energy is exceeding our capacity to distribute it. There is a glut of oil in Oklahoma, our ability to get natural gas to market is constrained and new renewable energy sources are often far from the population centers they serve. Therefore, we should immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline, advance natural gas pipeline permits expeditiously and support a build-out of electrical transmission infrastructure.
Streamline Federal Permitting: The approval timeframe for a federal application to drill an oil or natural gas well increased to 307 days in 2011. In many states, this process takes less than 30 days. Moreover, the approval process for new nuclear power plants is measured in years. The federal government should streamline the permitting process to improve the efficiency of the permitting system, reducing the risk for litigation, and improve transparency.
Support Energy Efficiency Programs: Increased energy efficiency and conservation can lead to significant cost savings for American consumers and make American businesses more competitive. The federal government should continue to support programs such as ENERGY STAR or NextGen that responsibly encourage efforts to adopt more energy-efficient technologies and behaviors, save energy and reduce consumer prices.
Expand access to oil and natural gas and increase R&D for renewable energy: Simply allowing greater access to oil and natural gas resources could generate an additional $1.7 trillion in government revenues. The Department of the Interior should issue a new Five Year Plan that includes annual leasing in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, we should better allocate federal support to wind and solar energy to determine ways to increase competitiveness in the marketplace.
The suggestions stem from the group’s annual Report to Congress which will be distributed to congressional offices in the coming days. In announcing the policies, CEA President David Holt released the following statement:
“It was encouraging to hear the President note that advancing an “all of the above” energy policy is resulting in real improvements to our economy and environment. However, while much has been achieved more work remains to be done to secure our energy and economic future.”
“Right now, we are, in a sense, a victim of our own success, as our ability to produce affordable sources of energy is exceeding our capacity to deliver it efficiently to our nation’s consumers. This is constraining the growth we can achieve and the benefits that will ultimately be provided to the U.S. consumer. As a result, we must invest in our energy infrastructure for both fuels and electricity. In addition, it’s critical that our elected leaders develop a national energy policy, streamline federal permitting, ensure efficient regulation for our nation’s power providers, including our nuclear and coal utilities, increase support for energy efficiency programs, expand access to oil and natural gas resources, and increase research and development funding for renewable energy systems.”
“The combination of these approaches will enable our energy success to continue and will result in significant economic advancements as nearly every sector of the economy relies on affordable energy to transport its goods and services, power its facilities, and manufacture its products.”
“Given the President’s desire to lead on energy issues, CEA is hopeful that these modest proposals will be advanced in the President’s second term. To do so, we must focus on solutions, avoid false choices, and empower innovation to help us reach our nation’s true energy potential.”
HOUSTON – Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is pleased to welcome Gallagher Benefit Services as its newest affiliate member.
Gallagher Benefit Services (GBS) and its parent company, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., are two of the largest commercial insurance and risk management companies in the world. Specializing in bringing health care to its customers, GBS provides health care and benefits packages to a variety of industries throughout the United States, including the energy sector. Offering much more than health care plans and benefits, GBS offers comprehensive technical expertise in health care compliance and PPACA, as well as knowledge of local marketplaces that are tailored to specific regions of the United States. Customers who use GBS’s services rely on them to assist with the design, customization, implementation and management of their employee benefit programs. GBS is proud to be listed on the Houston Chronicle’s Top Places to Work 2012, this honor is due to the culture in the office and employee reviews.
James Wright, energy group managing director for GBS said, “We look forward to partnering with the Consumer Energy Alliance on a number of policy issues in both the health care and energy arenas. For years, Gallagher has provided benefits packages to the energy industry, many of which are current members of CEA. The complexity of new healthcare regulations being implemented at both the federal and state levels has raised a number of questions from CEA members and Gallagher is looking forward to becoming a resource for the energy industry as companies will have the monumental task of complying with new regulations. We welcome the opportunity to work with CEA and its members.”
“CEA is excited to be working with our first member in the health care industry,” said CEA President David Holt. “It stands to reason that two of the city of Houston’s biggest employers, the energy and health care industries, should be partnering and working together on a variety of issues that have major implications on our economy and our standard of living. Providing workers in the energy segment with quality care and coverage is always a priority in our industry and partnering with Gallagher will allow CEA the opportunity to stay attuned to the needs of our membership.”
Consumer Group Speaks Out Against Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban
Chicago, IL – In case you missed it, more environmentalists are gunning to ban hydraulic fracturing. The Michigan State Board of Canvassers recently approved a six-month period of signature gathering for a petition by a radical environmental group that wants to ban all hydraulic fracturing (HF) in Michigan.
“With Michigan’s unemployment exceeding the national average over the past 10 years, the state cannot afford to eliminate potential economic development and job creation opportunities that increased energy production would create,” said Consumer Energy Alliance Midwest Executive Director Ryan Scott.
“Development of natural resources is creating thousands of jobs, tax revenue and economic growth in other states across the country, and it will likely continue. A ban on hydraulic fracturing in Michigan would result in an export of more jobs to other states and eliminate any hope of turning around the state’s economy,” said Scott.
Environmental groups in Michigan who failed to gather enough petition signatures to place a ban on hydraulic fracturing on the 2012 ballot have a clear objective: stop the development of all fossil fuels, no matter the cost and no matter the facts. Their main argument is that hydraulic fracturing threatens drinking water.
However, they would rather that the public did not know that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a study assessing the potential for contamination of Underground Sources of Drinking Water (USDW) due to the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids. The study concluded that hydraulic fracturing posed little or no threat to drinking water. Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said her agency has found no confirmed cases or evidence of contaminated drinking water linked to fracturing fluids.
Moreover, fracking has been conducted safely in Michigan on over 12,000 wells over the past 60 years. More recently the practice resulted in mineral lease sales of more than $178 million at the state mineral lease auction in May, 2010, the most lucrative mineral sale in Michigan history. As fracking in Michigan and around the country is on the rise, do the anti-development groups really think that after a 60 year track record, we need to ban the practice now?
Public opinion in other states where HF is booming is solidly in favor of the industry. A recent study by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research asked residents of Washington County, Penn., an area 25 miles south of Pittsburgh where there are about 600 gas wells in operation developing the Marcellus Shale, about their perceptions of HF drilling. Of those surveyed, only 10 percent were strongly opposed to drilling, more than 76 percent said drilling offered significant or moderate economic opportunities, and nearly 32 percent had a family member who had signed a lease with a gas drilling company.
With those facts as a foundation, CEA believes Michigan has the opportunity to further develop the Antrim and Collingwood Shale. As in other states this kind of development can help the state diversify its economy and create much needed jobs for Michigan citizens who have experienced the worst of the national economic slowdown.
The development of natural gas resources will also spur additional economic growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector which accounts for 21% of Michigan’s GDP and creates nearly half a million jobs. By providing less expensive sources of energy shale development can greatly improve the Michigan economy. For the state that brought the country the assembly line, Michigan has an opportunity to increase its competitiveness by embracing a new, safely developed source of energy to run manufacturing plants and power the economy.
CEA notes much has been achieved but federal leadership is required to avoid forthcoming challenges.
HOUSTON, TX – In response to the President’s State of the Union address, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) President David Holt issued the following statement:
“It was encouraging to hear the President note that advancing an “all of the above” energy policy is resulting in real improvements to our economy and environment. In the past year alone, oil production has reached a twenty year high, we surpassed Russia as the world’s leading producer of natural gas and greater use of this fuel has enabled the U.S. to lead the developed world in reducing its carbon footprint. Certainly, there is much to celebrate.
“However, while much has been achieved more work remains to be done. Our energy infrastructure is struggling to keep up with supply, new federal proposals hostile to energy development threaten to derail our progress, special interests are working overtime to halt responsible resource development and we are essentially flying blind as a national energy policy continues to remain elusive.”
“For all of these reasons, we must remain vigilant in pursuing a science-based “all of the above” energy strategy that will greatly benefit the U.S. economy and consumer. Immediate next steps that should be taken to advance this goal include: Making immediate improvements to our energy infrastructure including approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline and upgrading our transmission grid; approving a national energy policy; streamlining federal permitting for resource development; expanding access to oil and gas resources while increasing funding for research and development of renewable energy systems and continued advancement of efforts to support U.S. energy efficiency.”
“Given the President’s desire to lead on energy issues, CEA is hopeful that these modest proposals will be advanced in the President’s second term. At this juncture, our nation needs improved and streamlined regulatory oversight and more domestic energy production. Indeed, that increased production is one of the main factors that helped lead the U.S. out of the recession and has the power to transform the U.S. economy – empowering consumers while creating jobs, revenue, and additional economic opportunity – as well as to improve U.S. energy security.”