Kayaking outdoors

Washington, D.C. — Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Federal Affairs Advisor Michael Zehr released the following statement of support for the Conservation Funding Protection Act, legislation re-introduced by Senator Kennedy and supported by Senators Cornyn, Cruz, Cassidy, Daines, Hyde-Smith, Lummis 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 the sponsors for introducing legislation that will protect offshore energy development in the limited areas of the Gulf of Mexico where production is already occurring, while safeguarding the primary source of funding for conservation, coastal restoration, and parks maintenance included in the Great American Outdoors Act passed last year.”

“By protecting hundreds of thousands of jobs and providing billions of dollars for conservation, this bill is a clear win-win for our economy and our environment. In conjunction with the Biden Administration’s moratorium on new oil and gas leases on all federal lands and waters, this legislation does not expand drilling into new areas. It simply allows continued responsible development to take place in one of the least carbon-intensive basins on the planet.”

“With President Biden’s executive order restrictions on oil and gas leasing, it is critically important that we protect the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico to provide regulatory and investment certainty. Unfortunately, any further restrictions of development in these areas risks harming American workers, reducing U.S. energy independence and rewarding less efficient and less regulated foreign suppliers who may not share our commitment to the environment or human rights.”

“We are happy to support legislation that will strengthen our economy and protect our environment. This legislation would do both, and we urge its swift passage this Congress.”