Consumer Energy Alliance Kicks-Off 2010 Offshore Technology Conference
Focus on Government and Private Sector Roles in Supporting Energy & Creating Jobs

HOUSTON — 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.