Consumer Energy Alliance Launches Ad Campaign Urging President Obama to Jump-Start Energy Production in the Gulf of Mexico, Increase Economic Security and U.S. Energy Independence

WASHINGTON, DC – The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a leading energy advocacy organization, launched an ad campaign today calling on the Obama Administration to more fully open the Gulf of Mexico to energy production in order to protect America’s economic and energy interests.

Each campaign ad highlights the economic impact of the Gulf permit freeze on small businesses across the country, including a tug boat operator and drilling products producer in Louisiana, a farmer in Colorado and a truck driver in Wisconsin.  All of these small business people are representative of the significant negative consequences of the Administration’s Gulf policy.

“At a time of high unemployment, economic uncertainty and political instability across the globe, the U.S. cannot afford to squander any opportunity to jump-start the economy and increase domestic sources of energy,” said CEA President David Holt. “Opening the Gulf of Mexico for energy production will create thousands of new jobs in nearly every state across the country, spur economic growth and enhance our national security.”

The Gulf of Mexico accounts for approximately 30 percent of U.S. oil production and 11 percent of natural gas production – much of this from deepwater development.  In June 2010, the federal government instituted a moratorium on all deepwater drilling and nearly halted shallow-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  Today, despite the fact that the moratorium has been lifted, the Department of Interior permitting for offshore operations remains at a virtual standstill.  This permit freeze has led to a 250 percent increase in pending exploration and production plans and an 80 percent drop in the number of permits issued in the Gulf.

“The Gulf Moratorium and subsequent permitting freeze have killed 20,000 jobs to date and threaten another 380,000 jobs nationwide,” added Holt. “In addition, consumers and businesses nationwide have faced significantly higher prices at the pump as a result of severe declines in the amount of oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico.”

A recent study by IHS-CERA and IHS Global Insight found that increasing the pace of permit approvals for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico would create 23,000 new jobs in virtually every state in the country, bolster U.S. gross domestic product by $44 billion and generate nearly $12 billion in revenue to state and federal treasuries. In addition, opening the Gulf would increase domestic oil production by more than 400,000 barrels per day, reducing U.S. spending on imported oil by $15 billion.

The ads are available for viewing on at