WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 22, 2018 — Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), a national advocate for energy consumers, the National Association of Manufacturers and other national organizations today voiced support for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) proposed 2019-2024 National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program.
During a press conference near the DOI’s public meeting on the Draft Proposed Program, speakers highlighted the positive economic impact expanding offshore energy development in the Atlantic, Arctic, and Gulf of Mexico could have nationally and how exploration and development can be done safely.
“Lifted by human innovation and technological advances, the energy revolution has allowed the United States to achieve continued environmental progress, demonstrating that American energy development and a healthy environment go hand-in-hand,” Brent Greenfield, Vice President of Policy for CEA, said. “However, without access to more areas in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, these benefits are at risk, and so is the average American who is already spending more than $3,500 annually on energy, with households spending over $112 per month on electricity.”
Greenfield added: “With nearly 893,000-plus jobs, $550 billion in added economic activity and more than $395 billion in government revenue, increased access to America’s offshore energy could help provide a major boost to American families and small businesses. This will help keep energy costs affordable, so Americans have more money in their pockets to spend on critical needs like groceries, rent, money for college, and filling a prescription. It’d also provide federal, state and local governments the revenue they need for public services and major infrastructure projects.”
Focusing on the impact offshore energy development has on U.S. energy security, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute Senior Vice President, Christopher Guith, stated, “America is becoming the global energy superpower, and it is time that our policies reflect our potential. Offshore energy development has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of U.S. energy security. The Administration’s proposed plan allows for additional areas to be considered for exploration so that we can make fully informed decisions about our energy future.”
Guith continued: “Recognizing that not all areas in the draft proposed plan will end up in the final program, it is in our nation’s interest to reverse the direction of the current program that keeps more than 94% of the OCS off limits in order to secure our energy future.”
Highlighting the role offshore energy access plays in the manufacturing industry, National Association of Manufacturers Director of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones stated: “Manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in this country and depend on a secure, affordable, reliable mix of energy resources to remain competitive. Access to and responsible development of our offshore energy resources is therefore vitally important.”
Jones added: “Manufacturers support expanded offshore access and greatly appreciate the administration’s planned action to increase the areas available for leasing. The future of a strong manufacturing sector is inextricably linked to energy access.”
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney (Ret.) explained why domestic energy is a key factor in building and maintaining a strong military. “Our capacity to develop American energy directly impacts our ability to ensure a strong military and safeguard our national security. In addition to supporting a vibrant economy that provides the growth and revenue needed to ensure a robust military, continued and expanded development can reduce our vulnerability to overseas turmoil, decrease the influence of our adversaries and lower costs for the military.”
McInerney continued: “The more energy we produce domestically, the less we have to import from other nations, and the less that we will have to deploy our military to escort and protect oil tankers navigating unfriendly waters in places like the Straits of Hormuz.”
National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi, emphasized the benefits the proposed Five Year Offshore Energy Plan will give Americans. He stated: “Americans want affordable and reliable energy, safely produced here at home, and the new Five Year Program can make this possible. Increased offshore access can open the door to American energy dominance. Currently 94% of the U.S. outer continental shelf is closed to exploration and development.”
Luthi added: “While the U.S. has been closing more offshore areas, other countries including Arctic nations and Mexico are opening more areas. The United States is not keeping pace. The U.S. should seize this chance to kick our dependence on foreign energy, and spur job creation and economic growth here at home”.
About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support America’s energy future. With more than 500,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households across the country. We believe energy development is something that touches everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary for all of us to actively engage in the conversation about how we develop our diverse energy resources and energy’s importance to the economy. Learn more at ConsumerEnergyAlliance.org.