WASHINGTON – September 21, 2009   Following a letter from nearly 100 House Republicans, led by Reps. Doc Hastings (R-WA), Rob Bishop (R-UT), and Tom Price (R-GA), urging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to move forward with a 5-Year offshore energy production plan that would expand safe American energy exploration, Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), along with 15 other House Democrats, wrote the secretary recommending that his agency open the outer continental shelf (OCS) for responsible offshore energy development. Today, a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), penned a similar letter to Secretary Salazar.

David Holt, president of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advocates an “all of the above” approach to securing, reliable energy, issued this statement:

“Thanks to many of CEA’s thousands of grassroots supporters and a clear majority of the American public, a year ago, the federal government made positive, and long overdue, steps toward balancing the nation’s long-term energy policy through lifting decade-old bans on safe and effective offshore energy production here at home.

“CEA praises the strong bipartisan, bicameral commitment from the congressmen and senators who have taken the concerns of their constituents about affordable energy and access to American resources directly to Secretary Salazar. The groundswell of support for increased domestic energy production continues to grow, and, as an organization, we’re grateful for the steadfastness on this issues that so many members of Congress and senators continue to demonstrate.

“As the Interior Department’s public comment period on the 5-year OCS plan came to a close today, we are hopeful and encouraged that these congressional letters, as well as the hundreds of thousands of supportive comments from every day Americans, will resonate with Secretary Salazar as he and his agency move forward in crafting a blueprint for our offshore energy production goals over the next several years.

“Thousands of good-paying jobs, stable energy prices for small businesses, working-families and retirees and less dependence on unstable regions of the world to fuel our economy will result from the developing domestic oil and gas, and renewable energy offshore. At the same time, we must focus on harnessing more wind, solar, coal, hydro, nuclear, biofuels and other alternatives and renewable energy forms, while using what we have more wisely, too.”