WASHINGTON – September 9, 2009   Earlier today, the U.S. House Natural Resources panel with primary jurisdiction over federal offshore energy policy met to discuss pending bipartisan legislation that aims to increase domestic offshore energy exploration and production. 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:

“Today’s hearing focusing on strong bipartisan legislation that aims to ease decades-old restrictions on American energy production offshore was particularly timely. In less than two weeks, the Interior Department’s public comment period regarding the upcoming 5-year outer continental shelf (OCS) plan will close, and the fate of domestic energy production for the next several years, and possibly well beyond that, will in part be determined.

“American consumers are facing difficult economic times right now – and many are being forced to make choices that no one should have to make. At minimum, they should be able to depend on their government for access to the energy resources they own – energy that, if harnessed, could create millions of new jobs, billions in local revenue, and the prospect of long-term energy affordability.

“Of course, offshore energy development is only one leg of our energy policy stool – but it’s an important one if we have any expectation of making our way back to prosperity. Along with it, we must work to increase the availability of energy in all forms – wind, solar, oil, natural gas, biofuels, nuclear – and use what we have more wisely at the same time.

“The dialogue during today’s hearing generally echoed this approach. CEA is optimistic that Secretary Salazar takes today’s hearing into mind, as well as the overwhelming support of the American people for increased offshore energy production, as his department prepares to release its new 5-year plan.”

For more information, visit www.consumerenergyalliance.org.