HOUSTON – January 6, 2010   Earlier today Interior secretary Ken Salazar announced a series of new federal leasing rules that aim to impede, and in some cases deny, the safe and responsible exploration of energy resources on taxpayer-owned lands. Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) president David Holt issued the following statement in response:

“Adding layers of additional and unnecessary bureaucratic red-tape to the federal oil and gas leasing process will result in less homegrown energy for American families, seniors and small businesses. At the same time, erecting these needless roadblocks for safely producing American energy will not only lead to more expensive and less stable prices for struggling consumers, but it will also deepen our nation’s dependence on foreign and often unfriendly regions of the world to meet our growing demands and to keep our economy moving.

“With gas prices once again on the rise – and home heating costs expected to continue to spike throughout this severe winter season – policymakers in Washington should be committing their efforts to help stabilize and drive down energy prices through responsibility developing all of our energy resources – not discouraging domestic production, especially our vast oil shale reserves in the Intermountain-West and offshore, particularly in Alaska’s energy-rich seas.

“Responsibly unlocking our domestic energy reserves will help create thousands of good-paying jobs at a time when they’re most needed. And CEA is eager to work with Secretary Salazar and Congress to help craft commonsense energy policies that promote stable prices for all consumers, create jobs and drive down our nation’s foreign energy dependence through developing all of our resources – including alternatives and renewables – safely and effectively.”