CEA president: “The Time for Planning is Over — and the Time for Action has Never Been More Urgent”

HOUSTON – March 31, 2010    Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) president David Holt issued the following statement today subsequent to the president’s speech on the potential for new offshore energy opportunities in the future, and the release of the updated five-year offshore plan:

“Having explicitly cited the importance of commonsense offshore energy exploration in his State of the Union address, it’s heartening to see the president follow-up those remarks today with a renewal of his commitment to pursuing a thoughtful, balanced energy strategy moving forward. It’s an approach long advocated by CEA, part of a plan that includes improved mileage standards, increased use of renewables, new nuclear facilities and more access to abundant supplies of oil and natural gas.

“The administration’s intention to potentially unlock millions of energy-rich acres along the OCS suggests this president is well-aware of the tremendous benefits to our economy and our security that responsible exploration makes possible. These are benefits that must be realized not only in the near-term exploration of oil and natural gas offshore, but in the aggressive, long-term pursuit of efforts to convert the wind, the sun and the tides into stable and affordable sources of energy for the future.

“A successful offshore energy plan — one that’s worthy of the people on whose behalf it’s written — will be centered on the achievement of three critical national priorities: Jobs, security, and environmental stewardship. Some elements of the plan released today indicate a willingness by this administration to pursue those imperatives in the future. Others, unfortunately, fail to meet that standard — such as the cancellation of already scheduled lease sales in Alaska, a state that holds the promise and potential to provide this country with so much more than policymakers in Washington permit it to. We’re also disappointed that in putting forth a new plan that doesn’t begin until 2012, further delays will be encountered in ensuring already scheduled lease sales between now and then are actually held.

“With 14.9 million Americans out of work, and state budgets approaching the precipice of insolvency, the time for planning is over — and the time for action has never been more urgent. Last year, CEA helped gather more than 150,000 comments from the American people conveying precisely that message. This administration has an obligation to listen to those voices, and a clear imperative to act on their behalf.”