April 6, 2009
Laura Henderson

Hundreds in NJ Turn Out in Support of Offshore Energy Development

Interior Department Hearing in Atlantic City Draws New Jersey Taxpayers Clamoring for Jobs, Energy Independence

WASHINGTON—Institute for Energy Research (IER) president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement today as hundreds packed an Interior Department hearing at the Atlantic City Convention Center in support of domestic offshore energy development:

“The people of New Jersey raised their voices loudly and clearly today in support of responsible offshore energy development in the Atlantic,” said Pyle. “They know that safe, environmentally sound exploration of offshore oil and natural gas won’t just help us take a meaningful step toward future energy independence, but also help generate thousands of good-paying jobs and billions in revenue for area taxpayers.”

The United States possesses abundant energy resources in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). According to the federal government, more than 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas lie off our shores. That amounts to enough energy to replace 50 years worth of OPEC oil.

However, those resources are off limits in most areas of the OCS. Congress and the Bush Administration allowed a decades-old ban on offshore development to lapse last year, but before any development can actually take place, the Interior Department must include prospective areas in its “five year plan” for offshore energy exploration.

Today’s hearing in Atlantic City is the first in a series of four public meetings discussing the agency’s plan. Future hearings will take place in New Orleans (April 8), Anchorage (April 14) and San Francisco (April 16).

More from IER on access to domestic resources:
•    Press Release: Access to Affordable Energy Essential to Economic Recovery
•    Fact Sheet: Offshore Energy Exploration: Myth vs. Fact
•    Study: The Obama Energy Agenda

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.

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