Amendment would streamline domestic energy development, help stabilize costs for American consumers

WASHINGTON – September 22, 2009   As the US Senate considers an appropriations measure setting aside funds for the US Department of the Interior, Sens. David Vitter (La.), Jim DeMint (S.C.) and John Barrasso (Wyo.) are working to include an amendment in the bill that would streamline and advance energy development along our nation’s outer continental shelf (OCS). Consumer Energy Alliance, which has played a leading role in generating over 150,000 of the more than 350,000 favorable public comments to Secretary Ken Salazar in support of expanded offshore energy production, has urged the Senate to adopt this commonsense provision that would increase domestic energy production, helping to drive down and stabilize prices for American consumers.

CEA president David Holt issued the following statement:

“Our energy security, the price American consumers pay at the pump, and the much-needed jobs and revenues created through environmentally-sound, 21st century offshore energy development must be addressed head-on. This commonsense amendment helps do that, and it deserves strong bipartisan support in the US Senate.

“This amendment, coupled with the overwhelming support that the American people delivered to the Interior Department for expanded offshore energy production yesterday as the 5-year comment period came to an end, should continue to send a strong message to the policymakers that decisive action is needed to help meet our growing energy needs, put Americans back to work, raise revenues for the local, state and federal governments and help get the US economy rolling again.”

CEA has participated in over 100 events over past three months focused on responsibly increasing American energy production, while ensuring environmental safeguards. Early indications suggest that favorable comments to the Interior Department handily surpass those in opposition to American energy production, which would be in line with virtually all public opinion polling.

Over the past several years, public comments to the Interior Department have overwhelmingly favored increased offshore energy production. During the 2006 period, 72 percent of comments received during four separate comment periods favored increased energy production offshore. In 2008, 53 percent backed domestic OCS energy exploration. And, early indications from yesterday’s close of the public comment period, favorable comments will once again lead groups who are opposed to sensible offshore development by a sizeable margin. American consumers once again voiced clear support for increased energy production.