The tragic loss of human lives in the April 20 explosion and subsequent sinking of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the ensuing oil spill and environmental impacts currently being battled, have brought the subject of American offshore energy development and safety into the minds of many across the nation.
Consumer Energy Alliance offers our deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the oil rig explosion. Our thoughts remain with you as you struggle with the aftermath of this enormous tragedy.
We also salute the countless dedicated members of the oil and gas industry, U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies who have responded so swiftly to this accident and remain dedicated to resolving the immediate crisis of oil leaking into the Gulf as well as the thorough clean-up of the environmental damage in surrounding waters.
In the wake of this serious event, the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry itself has responded quickly and comprehensively, reacting with all resources available to avert environmental damage, stem the flow of leaking oil and ensure that safety remains a top priority in all exploratory and drilling operations. Even as events unfold, the Industry is reflecting on constant improvement in safety and what more can be done to prevent future disasters. Yet, clearly this disaster is not over and much more work must be done to ensure that any damage is contained.
And, even as this terrible accident is being dealt with, we as Americans are reminded of the importance of ensuring the safe development of secure domestic energy resources. The Oil & Gas Industry’s record of safety and conscientious attention to the wellbeing of its employees and the American public should not be overlooked. Though precautions have been taken in the past, it is time for industry to raise its standards even further and call for a zero tolerance policy that ensures that accidents never happen again.
The answer to any accident is not to withdraw as some are now advocating, but to get more involved, pay closer attention and take additional measures to increase safety, increase response tactics and teams, and increase development of essential American resources in our nation’s coastal waters, including both traditional sources, such as oil and gas, as well as alternatives, like wind and solar. Literally hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as the economic livelihood of this nation are directly tied to offshore oil and gas development. We need more oil & gas development, not less… but we MUST access these resources safely and effectively. Offshore development is a vital part of our energy future.
This month, the federal government is accepting comments from the public about which areas to include in U.S. offshore energy development in the nation’s outer continental shelf (OCS) from 2012-2017. It is vital that Americans show their support for opening up the OCS to both traditional and alternative energy project development, which will stimulate the economy, create more jobs and aid in stabilizing energy prices! Find out more here.
In addition, make your voice heard on ensuring that federal refuge lands remain open to hunting, fishing and utilization, such as energy exploration and development. Find out more here.
There is much to do this month – I urge you to take action and participate in our Calls to Action on these very important issues, even as you grieve for those who died in the accident and support those fighting environmental effects on the front lines.
CEA recently launched an online store complete with CEA and domestic energy development-themed merchandise. We’ve included many unique items that will appeal to every taste and budget, such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, bags, yard signs, buttons, mugs and even a doggie-sized T-shirt for your four-footed friend. Help CEA spread the word regarding the necessity of a balanced energy policy for America! Visit the CEA Store today.
CEA is proud to announce the addition of new affiliate members who have joined our alliance: Bayer Corporation and The Dow Chemical Company. For a complete list of CEA’s valued affiliates, click here.
Safety & Security – Both are essential
Check out CEA’s recent blog entry about the recent tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Join the conversation at CEA’s website. Read blog…
Gas Shales Summit in Houston, TX
The 9th Annual Gas Shales Summit will be held June 2-3, 2010, at the Marriott Houston West Loop by the Galleria in Houston, Texas. Use promo code 10581CEA to save 15% on registration. For detailed information and to register, visit: www.insightinfo.com/gasshales
The Scoop on Appliance Rebates
Did you know that many states are running programs that give Americans rebates on purchasing new energy efficient appliances for their homes? The deal is – only purchases that replace an existing appliance are eligible for a rebate, which range in benefit from $50 to $500. So get rid of that old energy-wasting fridge and upgrade to a new one that saves both energy and money!
Each state is running its own appliance rebate program and publishing its own rebate forms. Click here to find appliance rebates in your state. The rebate programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, which is providing funding to all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia to develop and implement the programs.
What to do with that old appliance? Recycle it, of course! Recycling saves natural resources, conserves energy and is beneficial all the way around. Find out about appliance recycling programs in your state here.
EPA, DOE Announce Changes to Bolster ENERGY STAR Program
EPA and DOE recently jointly announced changes to the ENERGY STAR product certification process to ensure that only products meeting the ENERGY STAR requirements can receive an ENERGY STAR label. These changes accelerate steps DOE and EPA have initiated over the past several months to bolster the verification, testing and enforcement aspects of the ENERGY STAR program. Read article…
EPA Announces New Guidelines for Energy Star Homes
EPA recently issued new, more rigorous guidelines for new homes looking to earn the ENERGY STAR. Compared to the prior ENERGY STAR guidelines, the new requirements increase the energy efficiency of qualified homes by more than 10%, making them more than 20% more efficient than homes built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). These guidelines will begin to go into effect in January, 2011, although some builders may choose to adopt the new requirements earlier. Read article…
CEA Kicks-Off 2010 Offshore Technology Conference
On May 3, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) helped kick-off the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Park by hosting panels focused on Government and Private Sector Roles in Supporting Energy and Creating Jobs. The panels featured notable participants, including the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia the Honorable Bob McDonnell; Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Tom Irwin; Shell Upstream Americas Exploration and Commercial Executive Vice President Dave Lawrence; American Petroleum Institute (API) President Jack N. Gerard; National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi; The Dow Chemical Company Energy Business U.S. Commercial Director Ken Bromfield; and many others.
As expected, the panelists talked at length about the tragic events onboard the Deepwater Horizon last month, and the enormous commitment of material and technological resources currently being deployed to contain, capture and stop the flow of oil into the Gulf. The panel’s participants agreed that investigators should leave no stone unturned in finding out what happened, how it happened, and then fixing it – allowing offshore resources to be developed in the future in a way that’s better, safer, and more efficient.
“We put this panel together to talk about job creation and opportunity. That hasn’t changed,” said CEA President David Holt, co-organizer of the event who also served as a member of the panel. “The debate around it has changed. We’re already seeing efforts to take political advantage of this situation by arguing that, in light of the oil spill, offshore energy should not be developed. But, our nation’s offshore energy resources are vital to the country’s economy and their development employs hundreds of thousands of Americans. We must continue to safely and responsibly develop American offshore resources. The United States must have an ‘all of the above’ approach to meeting our energy needs.”
Governor McDonnell emphasized the importance of continued offshore exploration, including expanded production in new areas, such as offshore Virginia, which would provide extensive job creation, royalties and revenues for many states. Irwin added that expanded development of Outer Continental Shelf resources in Alaska would have a “hugely positive” impact for the state as well as the country as a whole.
“Energy is the lifeblood of our economy,” API’s Gerard noted, emphasizing the industry’s importance as a strong job-creating tool, while also noting that the oil and gas industry is the primary leader in the development of new green energy technologies and leads in job creation in that field.
Other participants on the panel included the Minister of Industry and Energy of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories the Honorable Bob McLeod; University of Texas at Austin Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Webber; Greater Houston Partnership Energy Collaborative Vice Chairman Lane Sloan. The Panel was moderated by Paul Bledsoe of the National Commission on Energy Policy. Devon Energy Corporation’s Sandeep Khurana also served as a co-organizer of the event.
The Hispanic Institute
The Hispanic Institute (THI), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is an educational forum for an informed and empowered Hispanic America, including making informed decisions related to American energy development.
“Our work is focused on the following areas: the study of Hispanic and immigrant economic contributions; media monitoring; consumer fraud protection; citizenship education; technology, telecommunications and the digital divide; and financial services,” says Gus West, THI Board Chair.
“We have produced studies on such topics as Hispanics and Retirement, Calling Card Fraud, Hispanic Broadband Access, Interchange Fees, and Immigration and Labor. In addition, we have developed media education campaigns on crucial issues such as Immigration Reform, Labor and Business, Net Neutrality, The Digital Divide, and Interchange Fees.”
Regarding energy, THI has two goals: 1. Job creation, and 2. Stabilizing energy costs, according to West.
“At a time when we are facing perhaps the greatest economic crisis in our nation’s history, we feel that energy can provide the United States with new jobs. We estimate that there are currently almost 6 million direct/indirect jobs in the Oil and Gas industry,” explains West. “We at The Hispanic Institute want to urge policy makers to help create jobs through energy policies that insure the economic security of our citizens.”
In addition, West points out that volatile energy prices effect most those least able to afford the ups and downs related to energy costs for basic needs, including heating, electricity and transportation.
“The social and economic impact of the high cost of energy creates an extreme hardship on our seniors, our lower and middle class citizens and those living in areas of high energy needs. It is more important than ever that the federal government allow for development of our energy resources because the ramifications for the aforementioned groups are enormous.”
THI is an affiliate of Consumer Energy Alliance because of, what West calls, “CEA’s logical approach to energy policy.”
“We began working closely with the Consumer Energy Alliance in support of the Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. THI secured letters of support from Hispanic federal, state and local elected officials as well as national NGO’s. CEA was out in front of this issue, and it speaks volumes that the current administration embraced CEA’s position. It demonstrates CEA’s logical approach to energy policy. We only hope that the energy industry realizes the significance of the work that CEA does and redoubles their support of this very important organization.”
For more information on The Hispanic Institute, visit http://thehispanicinstitute.net.