CEA applauds lawmakers for taking a stand in defense and support of offshore energy exploration


WASHINGTON – Imposing a new, potentially sweeping federal oceans program that restricts the responsible energy development offshore would raise energy prices on consumers and expand our already dangerous dependence on foreign energy — that was the message delivered to the White House today by Democrats and Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House.

In a letter dated today, 69 members of the US House urged the White House to proceed with caution before totally recasting our nation’s federal ocean policies. The bipartisan group of lawmakers is particularly concerned with the potential effects such a policy could have on responsible offshore energy production, which helps stabilize energy prices, create good-paying jobs and fund essential social services from all levels of government.

David Holt, president of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), released this statement:

“Today’s letter from this strong, bipartisan group of lawmakers should send a message loud and clear to the White House that any policy that seeks to impose restrictions on all aspects of offshore commerce – shipping, fishing and the responsible development of homegrown energy is one that will be challenged by a large segment of Congress.

“Unfortunately, as it stands today, continuing delays have prevented the important work of crafting and implementing a new offshore energy development, creating jobs and finding sound economic footing for the nation. An oceans policy that would further complicate that regulatory chain of command offshore has the potential to erode our nation’s energy security even further, costing Americans jobs, revenues and opportunity in the process.

“These lawmakers that signed this letter, led by Congressman Bill Cassidy, have shown tremendous leadership at a critical time on this issue. CEA is grateful for their hard work and hustle. As this process continues to develop, CEA will continue to fight for expanded access to every form of energy, especially our resources offshore.”

Here are key excerpts from the bipartisan letter, which was signed by 69 members of Congress:

We are particularly concerned about the Task Force’s impact on our nation’s ability to safely develop its own offshore energy, including oil, natural gas and renewable energy.  It is critical that the Task Force’s proposals do not inhibit energy activity offshore in domestic waters and undermine the Department of the Interior’s Five Year Leasing Program for offshore energy development.  An ocean management policy that puts new restrictions on energy development would not only raise prices for consumers, but would negatively impact Americans working in the offshore energy industry and all Americans whose livelihood depends on access to affordable energy.

According to a recent American Energy Alliance report, expanded drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) would generate 1.2 million jobs and $70 billion in additional wages annually, plus $8 trillion in economic output and $2.2 trillion in total tax receipts.  The American public has also expressed its overwhelming support for increasing offshore energy production.

We urge the Obama Administration and the Task Force to take an approach to oceans policy that recognizes and promotes access to the abundant American energy resources located offshore.