December 2011 CEA Newsletter
We kick off this month with a provocative headline, which relates clearly to our core mission here at CEA. If you’re wondering where in the U.S. you can buy gasoline for 45 cents a gallon, the answer of course, is nowhere. The figure cited above actually refers to the increase in the price of a gallon of gas that the typical consumer has seen over the past year. Check out this chart.
This price increase is particularly relevant now for two reasons. First, as the year draws to a close, it’s natural to look back and take stock of how our individual fortunes have changed. And, as the country nervously embarks on the busiest consumer shopping period of the year – hoping it will bring signs of a long-awaited economic recovery — it’s worth considering how much gasoline prices cut into consumers’ disposable income.
Yes oil prices rise and fall, but if you’re keeping track, 2011 has been a year of a pretty sizable net increase, which has had a sizable impact on our collective spending power. It reminds us that we have our work cut out for us in 2012.
As we’ve discussed many times in the past, there are numerous ways the U.S. could work toward a more secure supply of affordable energy: supporting oil exploration and production in Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf, approving the proposed Keystone XL pipeline connecting oil producers in Canada and the upper Midwestern region of the U.S. to refiners along the Gulf Coast, and lifting hurdles to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Combined, these three initiatives would add more than 2 million barrels per day of supply – more than 10 percent of our daily use! Watch our blog for more details about the upcoming lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, the first since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, and why we are concerned about some of the terms of that sale.
Additionally, this month important legislation to encourage the use of wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and other forms of renewable energy is being considered in Washington. Without proper, thoughtful consideration of how new alternative and renewable technologies are developed, the cost for energy will increase for consumers and businesses. Such decisions should properly reflect market conditions and allow up-and-coming sources of energy a path toward competitiveness with current energy. CEA’s support of the renewable energy sector reflects our breadth of our work, and our recognition that building a secure national energy policy will require us to make the most of our natural resources.
We hope you all have a safe and joyous holiday season. And speaking of safety, we leave you with some travel safety tips from a group that knows the roads better than most: our nation’s truckers. At the top of the list: If you are planning a long trip, take the time to prepare your car for long-distance travel. Simple maintenance can help you avoid many problems down the road, so to speak. You can see the full list of safety tips here.
Tell the Obama Administration That We Need Jobs and Thoughtful Access to Offshore Resources
The future of our nation’s energy and economic security depends on thoughtful, consistent policies that utilize our domestic resources to spur economic growth. Now, the Obama Administration has released its plan for offshore leasing for the next five years, 2012-2017. Although the proposed plan does permit for lease sales in areas that are currently under development, the plan falls short of opening access to new areas including offshore Virginia. Denying access to new areas is a significant blow to our energy security, but even more troubling are the ways this plan – and other actions by the Administration – are discouraging offshore development.
We will still rely on oil and natural gas for transportation, electricity, manufacturing, consumer goods and several other uses that are part of our everyday lives. Even more, our economy depends on the millions of jobs and billions in revenues offshore production generates. As the economy recovers, let’s make sure we have policies in place that support long-term economic growth.
Support Affordable Energy
Nuclear energy supplies over 20% of America’s electricity needs and will continue to play a critical role in powering America. Thanks to the ingenuity and innovation of tens of thousands of workers from around the world, the American nuclear industry remains the global leader, safely supplying affordable, reliable electricity to millions of homes.
However, the vitality of this important industry is in jeopardy. Currently, the Department of Energy is seeking to implement a burdensome regulation that could limit the ability of American utilities to continue to supply reliable, affordable electricity.
As our fragile economy struggles to recover, new layers of onerous regulations from Washington bureaucrats such as these will force additional costs onto struggling families and limit the ability of American businesses to serve their customers, create jobs and help grow the economy.
Looking Forward to Energy Day 2012
Now that the inaugural Energy Day festival has come and gone, it is time we look forward to the future and Energy Day 2012. Energy Day 2012 will take place at Hermann Square, City Hall in Downtown Houston, Texas on Saturday, October 20, 2012. The festival will once again feature live music, food, contests and most importantly interactive exhibits and demonstrations showcasing all forms of energy from oil and natural gas to solar and hydropower and everything in between, as well as efficiency and conservation.
CEA will also continue working with our Academic Partners to engage students in energy education through the Energy Day Academic Program (EDAP). EDAP was created to reward students who strive for greatness in energy-related academic competitions that run throughout the school year. Those who win at an Energy Day Academic Program event will be awarded for their excellence and commitment to energy and education. The 2012 Energy Day Academic Program consists of the following competitions:
February 18, 2012: The HoustonWorks USA & Schlumberger E2 Engineering Excellence Competition
March 1-3, 2012: The Science and Engineering Fair of Houston
March 31, 2012: The CSTEM Challenge
May 2012: Houston: Energy City of the Future 2050 Competition
May 19, 2012: The Children’s Museum of Houston Young Inventors’ Showcase on
Spring 2012: The HGS/HMNS/CEA Art, Essay & Media Contests
For more information on Energy Day 2012 or the 2012 EDAP events, please contact Kathleen Koehler at KKoehler@consumerenergyalliance.org.
CEA In the News
November was a very active month for CEA as far as media is concerned. Throughout the month of November CEA received over 70 media hits from radio, TV, blogs, news articles, press releases and more. The big contributors to this success are CEA’s participation in the Open the Gulf Campaign, the Keystone XL Debate, and the efforts of the newly formed CEA-Pennsylvania
A few of the highlights of CEA’s recent media success:
- Open the Gulf Campaign (www.openthegulf.org)
- This Daily Caller Op-Ed was penned by CEA President David Holt and it addresses how Government regulation has hurt America’s ability to do big things.
- The Daily Press (Newport, VA) published an LTE that points out the shortcomings in this administration’s policy in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Here is a piece that ran in the Oklahoman which references an IHS/CERA study which was commissioned by the Gulf Economic Survival Team. The study examines the economic impact of the slowdown in the Gulf of Mexico
- The Quad City Times (Iowa) ran a CEA authored Letter to the Editor that also addresses the issues in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Keystone XL
- CEA executive vice president Michael Whatley’s Op-Ed on the blog TownHall.
- Michael Whatley also wrote this Letter to the Editor which appeared in the Omaha World-Herald.
- CEA helped place this piece on the energy blog “Power Line.”
- Instapundit shows its support for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline
- CEA Pennsylvania
- This article announcing Mike Mikus as the Director of CEA-Pennsylvania was published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- CEA-PA Director Mike Mikus wrote this LTE in the Mt. Airy Patch. The letter addresses the benefits of developing the Marcellus Shale.
- A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on oil drilling in Pennsylvania.
- Another article out of Pittsburgh which details the role oil and gas drilling had in Pennsylvania local elections.
That is just a small sampling of CEA’s public presence in the media over the past 30 days. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Craig Koshkin at CKoshkin@consumerenergyalliance.org.
HoustonWorks USA & Schlumberger E2 Engineering Excellence Competition
February 18, 2012
Rice University, Houston, Texas
The Fourth Annual E2 Engineering Excellence Competition sponsored by HoustonWorks USA and Schlumberger invites students from elementary, middle, and high schools to compete during this city-wide event. The competition is open to public, private, charter, and home school students who have an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
This competition provides students with a STEM foundation to successfully compete with their peers, and it encourages them to create and explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. It also provides students an opportunity that requires them to use skills such as problem-solving, research and presentation skills, practical math, science applications, and computer skills.
For information on entering or questions, please contact Francheska Williams at 713.654.1919 Ext. 1212 or STEM@Houstonworks.org.
Winning students will be recognized at the E2 Engineering Excellence Competition Awards Ceremony, will receive awards at Energy Day, and will be invited to display their projects at Energy Day on October 20, 2012.
Save Energy This Holiday Season!
As you prepare for the holiday season, use a few of these easy, energy-efficient tips from the Environmental Protection Agency to save energy and reduce waste.
- Using a real tree? Contact your local community solid waste department for information on recycling. Alternatively, use a potted tree which can be planted.
- Unplug lights and decorations during the day to save energy and make your lights last longer.
- Look for holiday greeting cards made from recycled materials.
- Use reusable cloth shopping bags for toting holiday purchases rather than paper and plastic bags.
- Save gift wraps and ribbons for use on next year’s presents. Wrap presents for others in recycled trimmings you’ve saved.
- Use cloth napkins and reusable dishes and silverware for your holiday gatherings rather than disposable paper and plastics.
- Purchase rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts.
- Donate your children’s older or outgrown toys and books to charities and local libraries.
For more holiday energy saving tips, visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website.