September 16, 2009
Ms. Renee Orr
Mr. James F. Bennett
U.S. Minerals Management Service
381 Elden Street
Herndon, Virginia 20170
RE: Support for the Five-Year Offshore Leasing Program
Dear Ms. Orr and Mr. Bennett:
On behalf of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), I am pleased to submit the following comments expressing our strong support for the Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2010 to 2015 (DPP) proposed by the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS). By opening up new offshore areas in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and Alaska to oil and natural gas development, and allowing for the possibility of offshore alternative energy development, the new Five-Year Program will provide the nation with the opportunity to responsibly produce our own energy, an effort that will significantly benefit our economy by creating domestic jobs and decreasing our dependence on foreign energy.
CEA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to working with elected leaders, affected stakeholders and consumers to help create sound energy policy and maintain stable energy prices. We support improved domestic and global energy security and provide information on expanding the use of all energy resources, including oil, natural gas and alternative energy, and increasing energy efficiency. CEA has more than 120 affiliated organizations, including energy suppliers and providers, manufacturers, small businesses, and community organizations, as well as a nationwide network of more than 180,000 consumer-advocates.
Destabilizing price volatility is at the core of some of the country’s most pressing security and economic issues. Unfortunately, increasingly unstable energy prices are likely to continue to rise as supplies tighten and long-term speculators impact the market as they face troubling global energy realities. Industries, businesses and citizens across the country have witnessed first-hand significant job loss and continue to suffer from a stagnant economy.
It is more important than ever that the federal government allow access to all offshore energy supplies made available in the Five-Year Program for 2010-2015. CEA strongly supports the Department’s action to initiate the development of a new Five-Year Program following the removal of both the Congressional and Executive OCS moratoria in 2008. Offering new lease opportunities in the Atlantic and Pacific ultimately provides the Administration with maximum flexibility to properly utilize our domestic energy resources, while responding to various communities who have shown a keen interest in developing their natural resources.
Simply put, providing for sensible, effective energy policy that safely develops our resources will help industries that rely on crude oil and natural gas, strengthen our national security, and supply much needed jobs as we open new areas to development and spur economic growth.
Additionally, CEA hopes that the federal government will continue to move forward with the previous 2007-2012 Five-Year Program for all available leasing areas, including the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and offshore Alaska, while working to approve the Five-Year Program for 2010-2015.
CEA is pleased to see that the federal government has opened up the Five-Year Program to include new leasing areas, while accurately acknowledging the need for the United States to begin responsibly developing the abundant energy resources located offshore. We believe that finalizing a Five-Year Program for 2010-2015 – as well as sensible action by Congress to provide states with a fair share of revenues derived from production off their coasts – is important for creating a robust national energy policy and securing our energy future.
Consumer Energy Alliance is committed to working cooperatively with the MMS, affected stakeholders and consumers to ensure U.S. energy policy accurately reflects our growing need to enhance U.S. energy security, properly protect our environment, expand our domestic resource base and work toward the thoughtful, utilization of all domestic energy resources.
Very sincerely yours,
David E. Holt