Thousands Call for More Offshore Drilling in Alaska
CEA Delivers More Than 128,000 Public Comments Supporting Responsible Energy Production in Chukchi Sea

WASHINGTON, DC – The president of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) announced today that well over 100,000 public comments from Alaska and across America have been delivered to the federal government voicing support for responsible oil and gas development in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

CEA delivered more than 128,000 comments that it collected during a 45-day public comment period to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), the federal agency that oversees offshore oil and gas leasing. BOEMRE is in the process of finalizing its environmental impact study (EIS) for leasing in the Chukchi Sea, specifically Lease Sale 193.

After delivering the comments, CEA Alaska chapter chairman Jeff Jones said, “Issuing the necessary permits for offshore oil and gas production in Alaska would provide a much-needed boost to the American economy. Alaska’s offshore resources are estimated at about 27 billion barrels of oil, which during peak production could provide the United States with 1.3 million additional barrels per day, all while restoring capacity to the critical Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Developing these vast energy resources would also create more than 54,000 new jobs nationwide and generate nearly $200 billion for federal, state, and local governments.”

Jones said that the more than 128,000 comments that CEA delivered yesterday, as well as the thousands of additional comments supporting development, all send a clear message: Americans demand more jobs and more energy security. “Now is the time to move forward with responsible offshore energy production in Alaska, a process that begins with finalizing Lease Sale 193,” Jones said.

CEA President David Holt also issued the following statement:

“Moving forward with energy development in offshore Alaska will be a key component of a balanced and sensible energy policy. These 128,000 public comments make clear that Americans are not interested in keeping energy resources under lock and key, and the federal government should move swiftly toward creating an all of the above plan that utilizes all of America’s vast energy resources.”

The Chukchi Sea, off Alaska’s northwest coast, offers more oil and gas resources than any other undeveloped U.S. offshore energy basin. According to independent experts, Chukchi may be one of the largest untapped sources of oil and natural gas in the entire world.

In May, BOEMRE released its Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193. By law, the agency had to allow 45 days for public comments on the SEIS, a period that ended yesterday, July 11, 2011.