Monday, December 20, 2010

We Need More Jobs and a Stronger Economy: Support Offshore Oil & Gas Development in Alaska

Dave Harbour, Northern Gas Pipelines

Right now, Alaska stands ready to safely develop its abundant offshore energy resources, particularly in the Beaufort Sea.

Though Shell’s 2010 Exploration Plan in the Beaufort Sea was approved by the Administration and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal government is once again requesting further public input to a proposed addition for Shell’s revised Exploration Plan in 2011. The revised plan includes provisions to reduce drilling discharges to the marine environment – changes that not only strengthen the exploration plan but ensure that industry can and will drill responsibly.

While this comment period relates to Shell’s specific exploration plan, it is a critical step for energy production and domestic energy jobs in the Arctic. If Shell is unable to move forward with its 2011 Exploration Plan, there is a very real possibility that the Arctic will be closed to all oil and gas development.

In an effort to urge the federal government to continue its plans for safe energy production in the Alaska and the Arctic, Consumer Energy Alliance is calling upon the public to show their overwhelming support for energy development by preventing further delays in offshore operations in the Beaufort Sea and continuing with them as planned – Alaska and the nation need this to happen.

Take Action:
To help ensure that the federal government moves forward with the reasonable development of Alaska’s rich offshore energy resources, please let them know that you support the production of offshore oil and natural gas which will help provide Alaska and the nation with jobs and stable energy supplies. Please submit a comment and feel free to use the sample text below; the comment period closes December 22, 2010.

Sample Letter to cut and paste.

Email to, or by fax to: (907) 334-5242

December 2010

Regional Supervisor, Leasing and Environment
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500
Anchorage, AK, 99503

RE: We Need to Develop Oil & Gas Resources in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to urge the federal government to approve Shell’s 2011 revised Exploration Plan and proceed with the development of oil and natural gas resources in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska.

With Shell’s revised plan, drilling discharges to the marine environment will be reduced, ensuring that industry can and will drill responsibly. More importantly, this exploration plan is a critical step for energy production and domestic energy jobs not only in Alaska but in the Arctic region as well.

It is critical that the federal government brings Alaska’s vast oil and natural gas reserves back online. Jobs in Alaska and across the nation depend on the opportunities that offshore oil and gas production can and will provide.

In Alaska, approximately 43,454 jobs are supported by the industry. These jobs add $6.1 billion to Alaska’s gross state product, or 16.6 percent of its wealth. With the unemployment rate already up to 8.9 percent in Alaska, we simply cannot afford to ignore opportunities that encourage job promotion and economic growth.

Furthermore, not developing our offshore natural resources is projected to cost energy intensive industries nearly 13 million jobs and cumulatively decrease the nation’s real disposable income by $2.34 trillion, according to a new report issued by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that the federal government should promote energy policies that will secure our energy and economic future. Allowing for Shell to safely develop oil and gas resources in the Beaufort Sea in 2011 will help do just that.