May 2012 CEA Newsletter
Issue 62

Practical Policies and Sensible Solutions

Recently, Consumer Energy Alliance has been hard at work, educating consumers and policymakers of the importance of our national energy policy and urging voters and candidates alike to prioritize energy as part of the debate leading up to the elections in November.  And, we’ve been thrilled to see the amount of attention paid to our nation’s energy consumers by the presidential candidates.

However, we realize that actions always speak louder than words.  Advocating for an “all-of-the-above” energy policy goes far beyond the podium and the teleprompter.  Truly embracing a comprehensive energy policy will require a thorough evaluation of who we are as a nation and the dedication to build a foundation of success for future generations.

When it comes to energy policy, sound bytes and short-term solutions will not solve the problems we face.  In order to establish long-term economic growth and advance energy self-sufficiency, America must acknowledge that a sound energy policy must properly balance economic growth and environmental protection.

America is on the verge of a dramatic revolution.  Low natural gas costs and access to abundant supplies have led to a resurgence in manufacturing.  Technology has allowed us to access energy resources – from fossil fuels to nuclear and renewable energy – in more efficient and more environmentally friendly ways than ever before.  The United States is back on track to be a nation of doers: an economy that exports more than it imports and leads more than it follows.

Yet, poor policies can abruptly derail this progress.  Recently, CEA has noticed the negative impact that misguided and abused regulations can have for our nation’s energy development.

Recently, we learned that the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the dunes sagebrush lizard as “endangered” under the federal Endangered Species Act.  On the surface, this action probably wouldn’t alarm most Americans.  However, if you talk to energy producers in New Mexico and Texas, you’ll quickly learn that a listing would go a long ways towards shutting in oil and gas production in the resource-rich Permian basin.  Despite the extensive conversation plans that industry has developed to protect the lizard and its habitat, opposition groups remain convinced that the Endangered Species Act provides a way to prevent domestic energy production.  This surely isn’t the intent behind the law.

In another noticeable instance, offshore operators off Alaska have been asked to jump through a series of regulatory hoops in order to explore leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas this summer.  After a series of conditional approvals, additional requirements and hundreds of millions invested in safety preparations, the operator may be – just may be – able to move forward this summer.  Regulators do play an important role in ensuring operations can proceed safely in the Arctic, but these same regulators cannot allow outside forces to abuse our nation’s laws and regulations as a means to distract, delay and disable energy production in the United States.

In both of these examples, there exists a middle road: a way to conserve and protect the environment and develop our natural resources.  Typically, technology plays a critical role in mitigating environmental impacts.  But, more and more, we must also ensure that policies and regulations allow technology and sound practices to play that balancing role.  Automatically saying “no” to energy production is no longer a sensible solution in a nation thirsty for economic growth.


David Holt

Looking Forward to Energy Day 2012

CEA is looking forward Energy Day 2012 which will take place at Hermann Square, City Hall in Downtown Houston, Texas on Saturday, October 20, 2012. The festival will 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 would like to thank all of our partners and sponsors for this event.  Here is the current list of Energy Day sponsors and partners:

ABC-13/KTRK-TV, Alief Independent School District, American Association of University Women – West Harris County Branch – WSF Group, Anadarko, Apache, Caterpillar, CenterPoint Energy, Children’s Museum of Houston, City of Houston, ConocoPhillips, Cooperative for After-School Enrichment (CASE), CSTEM Teacher & Student Support Services, El Paso, Energy People Connect, Freedom Solar, Geophysical Society of Houston, Geophysics Rocks!, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc., Greater Houston Partnership, Harris County Department of Education, Houston Community College-Northeast Energy Institute, Houston Geological Society, Houston Independent School District, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Wiess Energy Hall, Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, Houston Renewable Energy Network, Houston Technology Center, HoustonWorks USA, Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), Lantrip Environmental Science Magnet School, Lone Star College System, NASA’s 3rd Rock Radio, National Algae Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, Offshore Energy Center, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, San Jacinto College – Energy Venture Camp, Science & Engineering Fair of Houston, Shell, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Society of Women Engineers – Houston Area Section, Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Texas Southern University, Jesse H. Jones School of Business, Total Energy USA, TransCanada, University of Houston, University of Houston – Downtown, University of Texas

CEA will 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:

May 18, 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

CEA In the News

CEA rolled on through the month of March with a strong media presence.  Throughout the month CEA received media hits from all forms of media including radio, TV, blogs, news articles, press releases and more.  The topics with significant contributions to this success are the Gulf Coast Energy Summit and rising gas prices.

A few of the highlights of CEA’s recent media success:

  • High Gas Prices
    • Visit this link to view an Op-Ed written b y CEA Executive Vice-President Michael Whatley.
    • Here is a CEA Blog written about policies that could help alleviate rising gas prices.
  • Natural Gas
    • CEA Mid-Atlantic Director Mike Mikus was quoted in this piece which was featured in the Times-Tribune.
    • The CEA Blog featured a blog piece about the state of regulation for natural gas.
    • CEA Executive Vice-President Andrew Browning authored this Op-Ed which was featured in the Daily Caller.
  • CEA Welcomes New Members
    • In April, CEA welcomed two new members, Great Plains- The Camelina Company and The Mississippi Energy Institute. View the announcements here:  Great Plains and MEI.

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

Upcoming Events

Houston: Energy City of the Future 2050 Competition
May 18, 2012
Houston Community College: Northeast Campus

The Houston: Energy City of the Future 2050 Competition provides Houston-area middle and high school students with an opportunity to explore Houston and its energy industry.  The project is designed to focus on workforce development and to encourage youth to pursue careers in the energy and engineering fields.  Student participants will spend the spring 2012 semester working in four-person teams to learn about energy and petroleum-based industries.

Over the course of the program, youth participants will engage in energy related enrichment activities and meet with energy and petroleum based industry representatives.  Students will be asked to: 1) create a scale model of Houston for the year 2050 demonstrating energy development, usage and delivery; 2) develop a marketing campaign explaining how the energy industry will play a vital role to Houston in the future; and 3) design a public service announcement that sells their energy efficient plan to the greater Houston community.  At the culminating event, volunteers from the local energy industry will judge student entries in all three areas.

The culminating event for the Houston: Energy City of the Future 2050 Competition will be held in May 2012 at a local college/university.  More details to follow.

This project is implemented by CASE, the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment, a division of Harris County Department of Education.  The CASE mission is to strengthen, support and sustain after school for all children. The Houston:  Energy City of the Future 2050 Competition is sponsored by Consumer Energy Alliance.  For more information on team registration or volunteering, please contact the CASE office at 713-696-1331 or e-mail Trina Finley at

Winning students will be recognized at the Houston:  Energy City of the Future 2050 Competition Awards Ceremony, will receive awards at Energy Day and will be invited to display their projects at Energy Day on October 20, 2012.

The Children’s Museum of Houston Young Inventors’ Showcase
May 19, 2012
Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston, Texas

The Young Inventors’ Showcase of Houston encourages the budding inventor in every child by providing a platform for children to share and celebrate their invention ideas.  Throughout the year, children are invited to participate by developing a completely original invention or making improvements to an existing invention.

During the city-wide 24th Annual Young Inventors’ Showcase on May 19, 2012, the very best of these inventions will be showcased and judged for their ingenuity and merit. This Showcase takes place at the Children’s Museum of Houston highlighting the efforts of Houston-area children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Winners are awarded by grade level and the grand prize winner receives the services of a patent attorney to research and request a patent for the invention.

For more information on entering or questions, please visit