CEA Statement on Oil Imports Surpassing $200 Billion for 2011

HOUSTON – Today the total cost of oil being imported into the United States crossed $200 billion for 2011, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In response to this unfortunate milestone, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) executive vice president Michael Whatley released the following statement:

“The fact that the United States has already spent $200 billion on oil imports in 2011 is beyond unfortunate, not only because of its impact on the American economy but also because it was an avoidable catastrophe. Granting the permits to explore and produce in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in Alaska would allow us to fill the TransAlaska Pipeline and bring more than 1.3 million barrels of American-produced oil to U.S. markets. Issuing the President Permit necessary to build the Keystone XL pipeline would deliver 700,000 barrels of oil every day to U.S. refineries from Oklahoma, Kansas, the Dakotas, Montana, and the Canadian province of Alberta. Finally, returning Gulf of Mexico offshore production to its pre-Macondo levels would add 130,000 barrels of domestically produced oil per day. All of these combined – which could be ushered in with a few pen strokes from the White House – would increase domestic supplies by 2.2 million barrels of oil per day, all while creating more than 114,000 much-needed American jobs.

“These measures would be a strong and immediate component to a broader, balanced energy policy that maximizes the availability of domestic supplies, expands the use of nuclear and other alternative energy sources by diversifying our energy mix, lowers energy costs for consumers (particularly gasoline and diesel prices), reduces the national debt, and helps put Americans back to work.”

In April, CEA launched MoreEnergyNow.org, an online petition urging President Obama and the federal government to expand access to America’s energy resources and support increased production. The page includes a digital “imported oil counter” that shows up-to-the-minute data on how many barrels of oil the United States has imported in 2011 and the total direct cost of these imports to the American economy.