03 May 2007 On the Consumer Alliance on Energy Security and the OCS
On April 30, The Consumer Alliance on Energy Security issued a press release on the need to expand access to domestic energy supplies in the Outer Continental Shelf.
The online version of the press release suggests the National Center for Public Policy Research is a member of the alliance and an endorser of the statement in the press release. In fact, the National Center for Public Policy Research is not a member of the alliance and at no time was asked to endorse, or did endorse, the statement. We do not know if our name was added by a hacker, through error, or by a mischieveous employee.
Unfortunately, our phone and e-mail inquiries to the Consumer Alliance on Energy Security since May 1 have shed no light on the matter, and we have seen no evidence that a correction has been issued or posted on the group’s website. Regrettably, we have concluded that we must issue a correction ourselves, as we cannot allow another institution to speak for us without our permission.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is, however, supportive of the general goal of expanding domestic energy supplies as described in the Consumer Alliance on Energy Security’s April 30 statement. In June, 2006 we organized a coalition letter of our own on that very issue. Signed by 35 policy organizations and prominent individuals, the letter, which was delivered to all 435 members of Congress, says:
Rising energy costs are taking their toll on millions of American households. Price increases for natural gas in particular have created an enormous burden on the over 60 million American homes that depend on natural gas for heating, as well as the 90 percent of new power plants that depend on natural gas.
Increased energy production in the Outer-Continental Shelf would lead to lower energy prices and help strengthen the American economy. These are goals that every member of Congress should be fighting to achieve.
According to the U.S. Department of Interiorís Minerals Management Service, the offshore areas currently banned from development likely contain a mean estimate of 18.92 billion barrels of oil and 85.79 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that are ìtechnically recoverable.î Yet the United States is the only developed country in the world that bans development of most of its offshore gas resources. This self-imposed ban has put our nation at a competitive disadvantage with Cuba and China.
Cuba recently announced that it has negotiated lease agreements with China to explore oil and gas production just 50 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. The United States canít develop resources in the Florida Straits, yet Cuba and China can.
For too long the federal government has tied the hands of state governments that wish to permit oil and natural gas leasing in their adjacent offshore zones. Congress should remove the moratoria on offshore gas production and share the federal royalties with the States that decide to allow offshore production, just as they share the royalties from production on federal lands with the States.