Birds flying over the Gulf of Mexico

Washington, D.C.Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Federal Affairs Advisor Michael Zehr released the following statement of support for S. 4947, the Conservation Funding Protection Act, legislation introduced by Senators Kennedy and Hyde-Smith and supported by Senators Cornyn, Cruz, Cassidy and Wicker which would provide regulatory certainty for existing Gulf of Mexico energy development by requiring two region-wide lease sales per year on available offshore acreage in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico—essentially ensuring the continued funding of key conservation programs without expanding energy development to any new planning areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We commend Senators Kennedy and Hyde-Smith, as well as the bill co-sponsors, for introducing this critical piece of legislation. The bill protects offshore energy development in the limited areas of the Gulf of Mexico where production is already occurring, and it safeguards the primary source of funding for conservation, coastal restoration, and Parks maintenance included in the Great American Outdoors Act, passed earlier this year.”

“This legislation will protect hundreds of thousands of jobs while providing billions of dollars for conservation. It is a clear win-win for our economy and our environment. Additionally, it can be achieved without expanding drilling into new areas and simply allowing continued responsible development to take place in one of the least carbon-intensive basins on the planet.”

“Further restrictions of development in these areas risks harming American workers, reducing US energy independence and rewarding less efficient and less regulated foreign suppliers who may not share our commitment to the environment or human rights.”

“Now is the time to support legislation that will strengthen our economy and protect our environment. This legislation would do both, and we urge its passage and enactment before the 116th Congress adjourns.”