CEA Joins Amicus Brief Supporting Energy Development in the Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTONConsumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and more than 30 other organizations to support the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) decision to grant Shell approval to develop exploratory wells in the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. The initial approval from BOEM, now being contested in a legal dispute, came after the proposed project met the most stringent environmental reviews in our nation’s history for an offshore development project. The amicus brief urges the Court to uphold earlier rulings as the project has met and surpassed all regulatory and environmental safeguards and is critical for the national security and domestic economy of the United States.

In response, CEA President David Holt released the following statement:

“We stand with BOEM and Shell as partners in securing America’s energy future as responsibly developing these resources will increase U.S. energy independence while creating much-needed jobs.

“The choices being forced on the court are very real and will affect the livelihood of countless Americans. Recent studies confirm this conclusion. A report from IHS-CERA, for example, finds that a return to pre-moratorium production activity in the Gulf of Mexico would result in a gain of 230,000 jobs, $12 billion in tax revenue and $44 billion in GDP throughout the nation. However, if the petitioners succeed, it could be tantamount to imposing another de facto moratorium on deepwater exploration. This would leave hundreds of thousands of Americans without jobs, an entire region of the country suffering unnecessary and avoidable economic consequences, and would increase our reliance on unstable sources of energy. All of this will have occurred for little to no environmental benefit as the BOEM has decided after extensive reviews that the project would not have a significant impact on the environment.

“Last year the Secretary of Interior found ‘significant progress’ had been made in terms of safety for offshore drilling, and this exploration plan exemplifies the energy industry’s commitment to operate responsibly. We must not allow special interests to continue to hold our natural resources, our communities, and our economy hostage due to theoretical environmental threats.”

In the last three years, oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico has contributed over $26 billion annually to U.S. GDP. IHS-CERA reports that “successfully restoring the activity levels in a safe and environmentally responsible fashion will have significant benefits for America’s energy independence and continued economic recovery.”