SAFE Hails Senate Energy Panel Victory

June 9, 2009

WASHINGTON, June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today strongly praised the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for its approval of a measure that seeks to boost the domestic supply of oil and natural gas. The amendment, offered by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), passed by a vote of 13-10.

“This vote represents a major step in the effort to enhance our nation’s energy security,” said Energy Security Leadership Council Co-Chairman, General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. “Today, we depend on imports — often from hostile regimes or unstable regions — for 60 percent of the oil we use. Last year, petroleum and petroleum products represented more than $380 billion of our $677 billion trade deficit. Increasing domestic supply will not end this threat, but it will help to protect our nation while we make the crucial changes, particularly in our transportation system, that will help to build a less oil-intensive economy.”

The Dorgan amendment opens the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for energy development, while maintaining a 45-mile buffer zone to protect the Florida coastline. The amendment also taps the resource-rich Destin Dome area, which alone is believed to hold upwards of three trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Based on MMS estimates, the Eastern Gulf contains 3.9 billion barrels of oil and 21.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. A confirmed discovery in Destin Dome contains enough natural gas to supply 1 million households for 30 years.

“This is not the end of this debate,” Kelley added. “Oil prices are once again on the rise, and as both houses of Congress consider various energy and climate measures, it is critical that energy security not get lost in the shuffle. The cost of a barrel of oil has more than doubled since the beginning of the year and, just last week, OPEC forecast prices reaching $80-90 again in the coming months. As long as our economy remains dependent on oil, we remain vulnerable to price shocks like the one last year. Today we took a major step forward; as this bill continues through the committee process and then on to the Senate floor, we need to make sure we finish the job.”

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy.

SOURCE Securing America’s Future Energy

Source: newswire

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