In response to today’s announcement by the Interior Department that it has canceled two previously scheduled Arctic offshore lease sales and rejected two requests to extend current Arctic offshore leases, Consumer Energy Alliance President David Holt issued the following statement:

“Today’s decisions are unfortunately the latest in a series of recent federal regulatory actions that have discouraged the exploration and development of a region that is critical to the energy, economic, and national security of Alaska and the United States.  The Administration has cited a “lack commercial interest” in this area for its decision.  In fact, the commercial interest in the Arctic is directly related to the lack of regulatory consistency, certainty, and the absence of coordinated oversight.

While America certainty needs a diversity of energy resources, none are more meaningful to our economic well-being for the next 100+ years than oil and natural gas.  With the U.S. Arctic estimated to contain 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the refusal to extend current Arctic leases and the cancelation of potential Arctic lease sales scheduled for 2016 and 2017 creates unnecessary and significant roadblocks to efforts to secure the nation’s long-term energy security to the detriment of energy consumers across the United States.

Today’s decisions also underscore the importance of ensuring that the Interior Department’s 2017-2022 offshore leasing program includes access to new areas including the Mid and South Atlantic.”