September 2010 CEA Newsletter
The past month has proved to be one for both optimism and great concern. While the Deepwater Horizon spill has been contained and cleanup efforts have made immense progress and continue to move forward, the Administration has continued its policy of delay – despite solid, bi-partisan evidence that drilling can and should be safely resumed.
For example, in a concerted effort to respond to the drilling ban, The Bipartisan Policy Center was recently asked by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling to generate recommendations for the federal government to determine which suspended activities could be safely resumed. The commission successfully determined that responses were inadequate on both sides and that better technology is required. They also stated that there is now an adequate margin of safety to resume some of the deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. (To read the Bipartisan Policy Center Report, click here.) It is this type of bipartisan response that is an invaluable resource to us. It is steadily becoming more evident that the response to the spill was much worse than the event itself.
The financial impact on the Gulf Coast and the nation are real, with almost $65 billion in annual revenue generated by offshore Gulf activity. Further delays – without sound justification – only add to the harm the nation has already suffered.
It also remains troubling that offshore activity in Alaska remains uncertain. Alaska is not part of the Administration’s stated drilling delay in the Gulf of Mexico, yet the Department of Interior has failed to provide any clear regulatory pathway toward future production. Alaska – and its massive oil and natural gas resources – remains in limbo at a time when the American public is crying out for more domestic energy. If, for example, Alaska was a nation, it would have the 9th largest oil resources in the world – ahead of Nigeria, Norway and Libya.
And, while all this regulatory uncertainty and delay continues, Americans consume more than 18 million barrels of oil per day (importing 12 million of those barrels).
The Administration needs to hear from consumers who are concerned about the lack of clear policy direction. This month, Consumer Energy Alliance is joining other groups to help mobilize folks in Texas and elsewhere to participate in September job rallies. We encourage you to attend and voice your concern. To learn more about these dates and locations, click here.
Also, The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will be hosting a Public Meeting to discuss the Obama Administration’s offshore oil and gas drilling ban. The next forums are scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th, in Houston, and Friday, September 10th in Biloxi, Mississippi. Coastal communities, affected businesses and local governments have not been given sufficient time to participate in previous public meetings hosted by BOEM and have not had the opportunity to make the Administration aware of our concerns. It is important for CEA affiliates and friends to attend and show BOEM Director Bromwich that it is time to lift the murky restrictions on Gulf development, spur economic opportunity and get this region and the nation moving again. To learn about the dates, times, and locations, click here.
It is also important to remember that the Gulf is largely spill-free and open for business, despite widespread media stories to the contrary. In an article published by the Orlando Sentinel on August 26, it was reported that travelers are still avoiding the Florida vacation spots for reasons more associated with rumors and false speculation rather than oil. So with this as a sobering example, we must, as energy consumers, continue to reach out to educate the public and move them to action.
Our only option to tip the scale in our direction is by mobilizing public response. As energy consumers, we need to improve our level of activism and join together to form collective response now.
Lift the Drilling Ban: Put Hardworking Americans Back to Work!
Sign CEA’s petition urging President Obama to reverse the deepwater drilling ban now. While we witness the devastating consequences of the Gulf of Mexico spill on the environment, we now know that ceasing to drill will cause severe economic repercussions. The oil & gas industry provides significant amounts of jobs and revenue for Gulf residents. The Administration’s kneejerk reaction may have consequences reaching far beyond the oil spill and into the future – rigs are already leaving the Gulf.
Please sign the petition to lift the ban and safeguard American jobs before more damage is done. Sign the petition today!
YOUR PRESENCE IS NEEDED AT THE RALLIES FOR JOBS!!
In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Congress and the administration are debating measures that, if approved, could cost American jobs, drive small- and mid-sized firms out of business, threaten our fragile economic recovery and jeopardize our energy security. We must ensure that policies are not implemented that would jeopardize jobs, threaten our nation’s energy security and limit our ability to safely and reliably produce affordable, domestic energy.
The Rally for Jobs is an opportunity for those whose livelihoods depend on the oil and natural gas industry and American consumers to express their concerns with these harmful proposals.
The rallies are planned for TEXAS, OHIO, NEW MEXICO, ILLINOIS, and COLORADO. For dates, locations, times, and more information, click here.
Call to Action: Submit Comments to the BOEM to End the Drilling Ban
Currently, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) Director Michael Bromwich is holding a series of fact-finding forums in several Gulf Coast cities affected by the offshore drilling ban, as well as Anchorage, Alaska and Santa Barbara, California. BOEM plans to provide Interior Secretary Salazar with recommendations on these issues by October 31, 2010, and our voices need to be heard. While the forums will be open to the public, members of the public are encouraged to comment in person at the forums (through comment cards) or by mail or online. Please click here to learn more about ways to submit comments to the BOEM.
CEA Welcomes New Affiliate Members
Houston Clean Energy Park
The Houston Clean Energy Park (HCEP) is an 80 acre facility adjacent to a utility substation that was created to allow for harmonization and delivery of clean power into the ERCOT electric grid. In addition to this clean power is the development of the 80 acres into a technology park focusing on tenants with market competitive clean energy, environmental or infrastructure technology firms.
Ocean Energy Institute
The Ocean Energy Institute (OEI), founded in 2007 by Matthew R. Simmons, is a think-tank and venture capital fund addressing the challenges of U.S. offshore renewable energy. OEI approaches energy R&D and investment from a systems point of view, grouping the generation, usage, storage and transmission all together as an interdependent set of opportunities. They are working to educate consumers about the benefits of ocean energy and helping to clear obstacles to make ocean energy a reality.
Petrohawk Energy Corporation
Petrohawk Energy Corporation is an independent energy company and a leader in the exploration and development of shale-based oil and natural gas resources in the U.S. Their properties are concentrated primarily in the Haynesville Shale and Lower Bossier Shale of Northwest Louisiana and East Texas, the Fayetteville Shale of Central Arkansas, and the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.
Trans Pacific Oil Corporation
Trans Pacific Oil Corporation is one of the Top 20 Oil and Gas producers in Kansas. They focus on a combined strategy of reserve purchases, exploration, and development for the state of Kansas and the surrounding region. A part of the Kansas industry since 1980, Trans Pacific is a small, independent company committed to attracting business investment opportunities to the Kansas region.
Consumer Corner: Take This Bill and… Measure it!
Finding a starting point from which to measure is often the hardest first step to evaluating the efficiency of your home’s energy usage. The U.S. Department of Energy is helping us evaluate our households and compare them to others across the country so that we may better understand how to begin to prioritize and conserve. You will need the following information to calculate your “score”:
- · Your last 12 months of utility bills
- · Energy sources from your home (i.e. natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, etc.)
- · The square footage of your home
- · 5 minutes to plug in the information and get your results!
Visit the website today to receive your totals, compare to others across the country, and get recommendations for improvement! Click here: Department of Energy’s Home Energy Yardstick
America’s Natural Gas Alliance
On August 24th at the Houston CEA meeting, America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) gave an Energy 101 presentation highlighting the importance of natural gas and its value, specifically to the state of Texas. According to their research, the natural gas reserves in the United States are at a level of 100+ years and growing exponentially each year. They emphasized the importance of clean energy and the cost-effectiveness of natural gas as a consistent energy supply. To view their presentation, click here.
ANGA Alliance exists to promote the economic, environmental and national security benefits of greater use of clean, abundant, domestic natural gas. They represent 34 of North America’s largest independent natural gas exploration and production companies and the leading developers of the shale plays now transforming the U.S. clean energy landscape. To learn more about ANGA, visit their website at www.anga.us.
BugWare, Inc. is a consulting paleontology group located in Tallahassee, Florida. An organization that works closely with the oil industry, this group of scientists goes to deepwater oil rigs and determines the age of the strata being drilled via examination of the microscopic fossils found in the cuttings.
“We are among a small number of paleontologists that work in the oil industry,” says Mitch Covington, owner of BugWare, Inc. Fossils have become increasingly valuable in the exploration for deep water oil reservoirs. Despite the new & expensive technology employed by today’s oil industry, the microscopic fossils are still a valuable tool for identifying geological layers — a necessity for efficient exploration. BugWare has the largest concentration of consulting nannofossil specialists working in one office in the country. Covington also writes his own software and delivers state of the art computer data and graphics to display their findings from wellsite or from their office.
Energy issues directly affect BugWare due to the nature of their business. “Our entire existence is dependent upon a healthy deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration and production policy,” says Covington. And according to his calculations, the moratorium has cut his business by about 90%. “We would like to see a sensible drilling policy in areas that are currently off limits.”
Covington decided to join CEA due to the organization’s ability to be a mechanism for educating the public as well as policy makers. “In an atmosphere adverse to offshore drilling, CEA can help inject logic and common sense into the equation through communication and activism,” he says.
To learn more about BugWare, Inc., visit their website at http://bugware.com/.