Birds flying over the Gulf of Mexico

WASHINGTONConsumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Federal Affairs Adviser Michael Zehr made the following statement in advance of Thursday’s House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing entitled “What More Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Leasing Means for Achieving U.S. Climate Targets.”

“American parents, families and small businesses are paying a dollar a gallon more at the pump this year—a 50% increase over last year. High fuel prices and growing energy bills are key factors driving inflation to 40-year highs, making everything more expensive for American families still struggling from the economic challenges and uncertainty brought by COVID-19.”

“Some economists claim the high energy prices are due to supply and demand imbalances along with international efforts, largely led by OPEC+, to limit supplies. Similar efforts to limit supply are being undertaken at home through an array of regulatory and legislative moves to make U.S. oil and gas production harder and more expensive, which is creating uncertainty, the enemy of new investment.”

“These actions offer few if any environmental benefits – especially when considering that taking American production offline means demand will be met by increased output from more carbon-intensive producers like OPEC, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.”

“The Administration has also failed to help send positive market signals by initiating the 18-month process of creating a Congressionally mandated five-year plan for much-needed federal offshore oil and gas leasing, which governs one of the most lucrative programs for our Treasury. The current plan expires on July 1.”

“High prices for gasoline, oil and natural gas have hurt families financially, and resulted in greater carbon emissions tied to climate change over the last year. High prices caused U.S. coal-fired generation to rise 17%, the first increase in seven years and an unfortunate 2021 report card for a nation that has led the world in absolute emissions reductions for two decades.”

“Rather than penalizing U.S. families through higher gas and energy bills, leaders should advance energy policies to incentivize and expedite deployment of renewables; carbon capture, usage and storage; renewable natural gas; advanced nuclear; hydropower and broader international consumption of U.S. LNG to displace coal.”

“Increasingly efficient and continually cleaner development of oil and gas in the U.S. is essential to meeting our global energy needs and ensuring we achieve our net zero goals without causing severe economic strains that would turn the public against these ambitions.”

“U.S. companies are leading the way towards a lower carbon future but for these energy transition gains to be maintained, expanded and exported—they must bring benefits to families, consumers and small businesses instead of higher costs now being either ignored or portrayed as sacrifices we all must make. Done right, no one need suffer – but first we have to be honest about what’s technically possible and the real effects our policies will have.”


About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is the leading voice for sensible energy and environmental policies for consumers, bringing together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers, and manufacturers to support America’s environmentally sustainable energy future. With more than 550,000 members nationwide, we are committed to leading the nation’s dialogue around energy, its critical role in the economy, and how it supports the vital supply chains for the families and businesses that depend on them. CEA works daily to encourage communities across the nation to seek sensible, realistic, and environmentally responsible solutions to meet our nation’s energy needs.

Bryson Hull
(202) 657-2855