CAES Welcomes President's Lifting of OCS Energy Ban, Bipartisan Talks in Congress

Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:20pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

CAES Welcomes President's Lifting of OCS Energy Ban, Bipartisan Talks in
Congress

As President Bush Lifts Executive Moratorium on Offshore Energy Development in
the OCS, Bipartisan House and Senate Groups Explore Energy Solutions

WASHINGTON, July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today President George W. Bush
lifted the executive ban on offshore domestic energy development in the Outer
Continental Shelf (OCS). More information will become available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/.  Meanwhile, bipartisan groups of lawmakers in the
U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are exploring new energy
legislation that could include expansion of domestic energy supply from the
OCS.  

Following the President's announcement, the Consumer Alliance on Energy
Security (CAES) a broad coalition of groups representing millions of Americans
whose livelihoods depend on reliable and affordable supplies of energy, issued
the following statement:

"We welcome the President's announcement lifting the executive ban on offshore
domestic energy development in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) as well as
the vital, bipartisan energy discussions underway among groups of lawmakers in
the House and Senate.  These developments signal that America's energy crisis
has been recognized, that Americans' broad support for offshore energy --
reflected in several polls -- has been heard, and that expanded offshore
domestic energy development must be a meaningful part of our nation's energy
solution.

"Energy-intensive industries have experienced many negative impacts as a
result of the failure of U.S. energy policy to adequately address the energy
crisis:

-- More than three million American manufacturing jobs have been lost since
2000, largely due to the high cost of energy in the United States. 

-- The U.S. chemistry industry has lost nearly 120,000 jobs and has gone from
a $19 billion trade surplus in 1997 to an $8 billion trade deficit. 

-- Nearly half of U.S. fertilizer capacity has been permanently lost. 

-- America's farm sector is being weakened by constraints on domestic natural
gas development, even as global demand for food is growing every year. 

-- For the forest products industry, energy is the third-largest manufacturing
costs -- up 50% in the last couple of years for pulp and paper mills.  For
some mills, the cost of energy has eclipsed employee compensation. 

-- Consumers are paying more for electricity, home heating and cooling,
gasoline, diesel fuel, and food.  Today 10% of the nation's homeowners -- over
six million households -- are having difficulty paying their natural gas
heating bills. 

"CAES supports aggressive energy efficiency and conservation programs to
immediately begin reducing energy demand and stretch the existing domestic oil
and natural gas supply base; investments in alternative energy R&D to
diversify energy sources; investments in energy delivery infrastructure; and
increased access to new sources of domestic energy supply.  We would welcome a
bipartisan effort that took serious steps on both supply and demand. 

"The Consumer Alliance for Energy Security played a prominent role in winning
passage of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, signed in 2006. Now more
than ever, America needs an energy policy that puts the nation on a path to a
more affordable, secure energy future.  We are committed to pursuing important
energy objectives -- in 2008 and beyond -- on a bipartisan basis."



SOURCE  Consumer Alliance for Energy Security

CONTACTS:  Jennifer Scott of the American Chemistry Council, +1-703-741-5813,
jennifer_scott@americanchemistry.org
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