You Can’t Change the Laws of Supply and Demand

By June 13, 2006Energy

For too long, America has shot itself in the foot over energy development, leaving consumers and industrial users to pay ever-more exorbitant prices for energy. The House of Representatives has a chance to begin correcting that error, as it plans a vote by Independence Day on legislation to increase our nation’s supply of natural gas through environmentally sound Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) development.

High energy costs are hurting American families, schools and hospitals, as well as manufacturers, and OCS legislation is long overdue. Our own environmental laws have made natural gas the fuel of choice for industrial users, but without any corresponding release of domestic lands to secure energy resources needed to meet this need.

Unlike oil, natural gas is a not a global commodity with a single world price. Limits on U.S. exploration directly affect U.S. natural gas prices.

The OCS may have enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for 60 years, and enough oil to drive 85 million cars for 35 years. These abundant supplies of domestic natural gas are readily available for relatively quick development and integration into our economy.

Unfortunately, for a generation, Congress has balked at authorizing the environmentally responsible development of more domestic sources of natural gas. Some 85 percent of the OCS has been off-limits since 1981. We can no longer afford such antiquated policies.

While the United States has stalled on energy policy, Cuba is moving ahead. Yes, Cuba. When you hear objections from the environmental lobby about the risk of exploring deep waters off the Florida coast, you should know that Cuba has licensed foreign firms to develop gas resources in waters as close as 60 miles to the U.S. shore. In the years ahead, that Cuba-backed drilling could come as close as 45 miles. It makes no sense for Venezuelan or or Chinese firms to be partnering with their Cuban friends to drill 45 miles off our coast while our lawmakers want U.S. companies to stay 260 miles off our shores.

We were joined by the American Chemistry Council, the American Forest & Paper Association, agricultural groups and others, formed a coalition called the Consumer Alliance for Energy Security (CAES). The coalition is urging lawmakers from key congressional districts to start acting on legislative solutions to our nation’s energy crisis.

Now is the time to address this problem. In order to compete and succeed in the global marketplace, our country needs a plentiful, diverse and affordable energy supply. With our manufacturing base and our communities at risk, it’s time to expand energy supplies through OCS development. Please join us in this important endeavor.

Click here to contact your lawmakers in favor of OCS energy development.