CEA Newsletter
Issue 31

Message from CEA President David Holt
September 21st marked the close of a nationwide public comment period by the Federal Government that allowed Americans to have their voices heard in the vital debate regarding development of U.S. offshore resources, including oil, natural gas and wind projects.

Though naysayers have received prominent placement in recent media reports, the real winners here are the overwhelming numbers of Americans who stood tall in favor of reasonable and responsible development of America’s offshore areas.

More than 360,000 positive comments were received by the government supporting a new 5-Year Plan for the development of resources off of America’s coastlines. This number, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the total comments received, sends a strong message to elected officials in Washington: Americans want more American energy.

Throughout the comment period, CEA stood strong in our support of offshore oil & gas drilling, as well as offshore alternative energy development. Working with our valued affiliates and individual consumers like you, CEA implemented a major campaign to get the word out about the importance of this effort and encourage Americans to comment and contribute to the discussion.

The tremendous results in favor of offshore development speak volumes. Washington has heard what you have to say. Your voice has made a difference in shaping American energy policy and will assist in leading the United States on a path of domestic energy development that will be good for the economy, Americans and the country.

CEA recognizes your hard work and we thank you for being part of our efforts to empower America! We consider you an essential part of our alliance and look forward to continuing to work with you to do what’s right for America and its citizens.

Yet, the work is not over. As we move forward from this great victory, CEA remains dedicated to working toward a national energy policy that fully leverages America’s abundant energy resources into new jobs, revenue and security for American energy consumers.

As part of this effort, please take part in our nationwide educational campaign – Secure Our Fuels, which highlights the damaging economic effects associated with the national Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) currently being considered by Congress. For more information on the Secure Our Fuels campaign, click here.

Again, thank you and congratulations! With your help, the tides are turning.

David Holt


Help Defeat Efforts to Ban North American Energy and Increase Prices at the Pump!
The Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is being sold to the American public as a way to blend transportation fuels with low-carbon alternatives so that tailpipe CO2 emissions can be reduced. But the fact is that affordable and reliable lower-carbon fuel options are not yet available. As a result, an LCFS simply will increase the cost of diesel fuel and gasoline and will place certain domestic supplies of transportation fuels off limits. Increasing the cost of transportation fuel and U.S. dependence upon foreign sources of petroleum is simply unsound energy policy.

Join our effort to defeat these measures, which would put an economic stranglehold on America and leave U.S. consumers stuck with higher prices at the pump. Send in your comments today!


Support Development of Alaska’s Offshore Oil & Gas Resources!
At a time when the American public is crying out for more domestic energy, Alaska has enormous untapped oil and gas potential, especially in its offshore areas. The waters off Alaska’s coasts hold about 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to federal government estimates.

To begin producing energy from these resource basins, the federal government must take action. Join us in our effort as we build public support for offshore minerals exploration and development in Alaska. Send in your comments today!


CEA Welcomes New Affiliate Members
CEA is proud to announce the addition of the many new affiliate members who have joined our alliance in recent months: Amway, Applied Fiber Manufacturing, LLC, EarthQuest Institute, Entergy Arkansas, Entergy Mississippi, The Fertilizer Institute, New England Fuel Institute and Santa Barbara County Energy Coalition. For a complete list of CEA’s valued affiliates, click here.


CEA Blog: Silent majorities and dressing for success
Check out CEA’s recent blog entry about the overwhelming amount of public support for developing America’s offshore energy resources, recently brought to light by the federal government’s collection of public comments on the issue.  Join the conversation at CEA’s website. Read blog…


Consumer Corner: Tell Us How Energy Affects YOU!
Energy issues are important to all Americans – and they should be – because they affect all aspects of everyday life, including your businesses, your household costs and your free-time expenditures!

When you drive your kids to school in the morning or board an airplane for a vacation flight, you are affected by the energy policies that government officials in Washington put in place. Access to American energy resources affects your weekly grocery bill, how much you pay at the gas pump, your heating and cooling costs, the business decisions you make – every part of your life!

CEA wants to know your thoughts about how energy affects you. Share your energy story with CEA by sending an e-mail to info@consumerenergyalliance.org. We want to hear from YOU!

Wind Energy Could Cut Emissions in China By 30 Percent, Study Asserts
Switching to wind power for electricity needs could cut China’s emissions by 30 percent over the next 20 years, according to a recent study. Read article…


Venezuela and Russia Develop As “Comrades-In-Arms-And-Oil”
Ties between Russia and Venezuela are steadily growing stronger with increased economic development schemes, including energy and weaponry deals, between the two countries. Read article…


Affiliate Spotlight: Agriculture Energy Alliance
As farmers and agribusinesses face a looming crisis because of public policies that create demand for natural gas while restricting access to supply sources, the Agriculture Energy Alliance, which represents more than 100 growers and agriculture-related business, works to inform and educate Congress, the Administration and state-elected officials about the energy challenges facing the agricultural sector.

“The U.S. farm sector is being weakened by constraints on onshore and offshore natural gas development, even as global demand for food is growing every year,” says Coordinator for the Agriculture Energy Alliance Rosemary O’Brien, who also serves as Vice President of Public Affairs at CF Industries.

To address these concerns, AEA encourages elected and appointed officials to continue the good work begun in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and take further measures to reduce natural gas demand and increase natural gas supply.

“By increasing domestic natural gas production, we increase our food security,” explains O’Brien.

Ensuring the stable development of American natural gas resources is essential to maintaining a successful agricultural economy, according to O’Brien, because the farm sector depends on significant use of natural gas for food processing, irrigation, crop drying, heating farm buildings and homes, crop protection chemicals and nitrogen fertilizer production.

“With wise development and utilization of our own national energy resources, Congress can help ensure that farming remains an economically viable occupation,” she emphasizes.

As a member of Consumer Energy Alliance, AEA’s goal is to join with other like-minded groups to work on energy policy, specifically access to U.S. offshore production.

“CEA presented opportunities to work with a larger coalition and to enhance our policy goals in a very positive way,” O’Brien notes. “We have been excited to work with CEA since their leadership has shown creativity, enthusiasm and focus on complex energy policy issues.

“CEA is the type of group AEA likes to associate itself with as perseverance and working on shared goals is the only way to accomplish results. In short, CEA is solution-oriented. We work well with CEA, and we appreciate the quality of advice and input we receive from them and their collaborative efforts on behalf of their coalition.”

For more information on the Agriculture Energy Alliance, visit www.agenergyalliance.com.

Affiliate News: National Oilheat Summit Sees Bright Future For Industry
NEFI joined nearly every national, regional and state oilheat industry association, along with various industry leaders, for a national oilheat industry policy summit in Baltimore, MD on Tuesday, September 15th.  The big news coming out of the summit – these various oilheat stakeholders are joining together to pursue a brave new future for the industry and its consumers.

Those attending the summit overwhelmingly approved a statement encouraging Congress and appropriate state bodies to help the industry move towards a “leaner, greener and cleaner” new product through adoption of an ultra low sulfur standard and expanded use of bio components.  The group also embraced solar technology as a key component of the overall industry effort to lower the carbon intensity of heating oil applications.

The summit also heard many presentations on the benefits of pursuing a lower sulfur bio-blended product, supplemented with solar technology, as well as how best to “tell the story” nationwide.  “It is an exciting time for the industry,” said Peter Carini (NEFI-member) of Champion Energy, New York, which was echoed by Robert Boltz of Pennsylvania, NEFI member Jim Townsend of Townsend Oil, and  Don Allen of E.T. Lawson of Virginia, the moderator for the summit.  He added: “As an industry, we face many challenges, but most of them can be met if we embrace this exciting opportunity to create a new product that will be environmentally responsible and competitive, ensuring that our industry is part of the solution to the energy, security and climate change challenges that face our Nation.”

Over 80 industry representatives participated in the Summit.

Affiliate News: NSBA Report Shows On-Bill Financing Improves Energy Efficiency
On September 16, 2009, the National Small Business Association released a report showing that small business collectively could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 259 million tons each year if they improved their energy efficiency by just 25 percent. The report, “On-Bill Financing:  Helping Small Business Reduce Emissions and Energy Use While Improving Profitability,” goes on to highlight the significant savings small businesses stand to achieve through on-bill financing.

“This report obliterates that old paradigm that environmental conservation is anathema to economic growth,” said NSBA President Todd McCracken. “Quite simply, small businesses can increase their profitability while reducing their carbon footprint.”

On-bill financing is a mechanism that enables small businesses to work with their utility company to improve their energy efficiency. In practice, a local utility company identifies a small business with potential savings and evaluates their energy use and the company’s financial stability. The utility company then extends a low- or no-interest loan to the small business to make energy-efficient upgrades. The small-business owner repays the loan by continuing to pay the average monthly bill and any money paid in excess of what their actual costs are will go directly to pay down the loan.

Currently implemented in several states, on-bill financing programs have made thousands of loans to small businesses with unparalleled success. According to the report, energy-efficiency programs such as on-bill financing can help the average small business save $4,932—and oftentimes more—every year on its energy bills. The report also makes recommendations on how the federal government can help facilitate additional on-bill financing programs.

“The number one reason small-business owners cite for their inability to make their firms more energy efficient is cash-flow,” stated Keith Ashmus, NSBA chair and co-founding partner at Frantz Ward LLP, Cleveland, Ohio. “Programs such as on-bill financing can eliminate this very significant barrier many small businesses simply can’t overcome.”

NSBA has long held the belief that energy efficiency and entrepreneurial growth can and do go hand-in-hand. The current state of the U.S. economy makes it absolutely crucial to have government policies that foster, not hinder, entrepreneurial growth. With 29.6 million small firms—comprising 99.7 percent of all U.S. employer firms—small businesses stand to make significant, positive and lasting improvements to both the economy and the environment.

This report was sponsored by NSBA with funding from the Bipartisan Policy Center. Please click here to access the full report.

Since 1937, NSBA has advocated on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. A staunchly nonpartisan organization, NSBA reaches more than 150,000 small businesses nationwide and is proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. For more information, please visit www.nsba.biz