David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance, submitted the following Op-Ed to Independent Petroleum Association of America blog on September 15, 2009.

Critical Issues Overlooked in Current Energy Discussion

There are indeed critical issues being overlooked in the current energy discussion. By focusing so much attention on the climate change component of energy policy, issues like jobs, energy prices, and the development of the full spectrum of energy resources available to us are being overlooked to the detriment of our economy. What we need is a comprehensive, balanced and long term approach to energy policy – one that looks at ways not only to control climate change, but also to lower prices, create jobs, and build the US economy.

The fact of the matter is that for decades to come, our global economy will rely on oil & natural gas for the vast majority of our energy needs, while we continue to work towards developing a diverse energy portfolio that includes wind, hydro and nuclear (among others). To get there from here, we need to focus on a sensible and balanced US energy policy that includes provisions for access to our offshore and onshore oil & gas supplies. Failure to do so is costing this country millions of jobs and putting us at significant competitive disadvantage relative to other nations that more effectively utilize their resources.

The oil & gas industry employs more than 9 million hardworking Americans. But that only tells part of the story. There are 20 million US citizens employed in manufacturing, 10 million in trucking, 10 million in the airline industry, 20 million farmers, 2 million folks making iron & steel, more than 40 million retirees (many living on fixed incomes), and millions more employed by hospitals, restaurants and other industries that directly rely on the availability of energy supplied in a cost effective manner. There has got to be a better way to lower prices, create jobs, and build a better US economy.

Consumer Energy Alliance is working with IPAA and dozens of consumer groups – ranging from agriculture to the service industry – to urge Congress, the Obama Administration and state leaders to seek better ways to ensure hardworking Americans have access to the energy they need – now and in the future. We are well-past time for the nation to act to develop our abundant oil & natural gas, improve our energy security and trade balance, and lessen our dependence on imports from areas of the world that do not have our best interests in mind.