OCS legislation best strategy against soaring energy prices says AEEG

Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2005 — The Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth (AEEG) called the recently announced Senate “Energy Independence 2020” proposal a well meaning effort, but said America needs a more aggressive approach for new energy supplies to help ease the current high oil and natural gas prices.

AEEG, a coalition of energy consumers and providers, business and labor groups, reinforced its call for Congress to enact urgent legislation to allow states to access abundant oil and gas resources in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) as part of the House budget reconciliation or a new energy bill.

“We are seeing first hand the impact of higher oil and natural gas prices, the vulnerability of our energy security and the need for more and diverse supplies of energy,” said former Governor John Engler, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, a member of AEEG. “The Energy Policy Act of 2005 made tremendous strides for alternative energy and conservation, but it was missing a key component to allow access to more energy supplies in the United States — including coal, natural gas and oil — so jobs stay in America and consumers pay less to heat and cool their homes and drive their cars.”

The AEEG says opening the OCS to development by states would:

* Increase America’s much-needed domestic energy supplies.

* Allow states to control whether or not they develop their offshore energy resources.

* Allow coastal states to benefit from energy development by sharing royalties, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in local revenue.

* Reduce record-high energy costs to American industry and consumers.

“We need urgent action now to reduce the economic burden of record-high energy costs on American manufacturers, businesses and homeowners,” Engler continued. “The fact is that our country has ample reserves — we are just choosing not to access them.”

The OCS has 420 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable resources on federal lands and 77 billion barrels of oil. That’s enough natural gas to heat more than 100 million homes for 60 years and enough oil to fuel almost 85 million cars for 30 years.

“There are legislative proposals currently before Congress that would help bring this domestic oil and natural gas to the marketplace to the benefit of all consumers. In the meantime, we also need education programs to help people learn how to save energy and increase energy assistance to those most at risk,” said Engler.

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