16 February 2010 19:15 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US energy producers and manufacturers on Tuesday warned that the nation’s economy will decline and energy costs and foreign dependence will increase if offshore oil and gas resources remain closed to development.
The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) were among several energy and manufacturing interests to cite a new study on the economic and social consequences that could result if the ?xml:namespace>
Development of oil and natural gas resources in about 85% of US outer continental shelf (OCS) regions - chiefly along the US East and
However, while the offshore drilling bans technically have lapsed,
US petrochemical producers and downstream chemical manufacturers have long pressed Congress and successive administrations to open the East and West coast offshore regions to development. The chemical makers are heavily dependent on natural gas both as a major feedstock and as an energy fuel.
The energy alliance and the gas association cited a study conducted for state-level electric utility regulators, showing that failure to develop those offshore energy resources will reduce domestic oil and natgas production and force increasing US dependence on imported energy commodities.
The study, commissioned by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), was done by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a major consulting firm that provides services to the
SAIC’s study said that if the offshore areas remain undeveloped over the next 20 years, domestic
Domestic natural gas production is expected to decrease by 46,000bn cubic feet (bcf) over that two-decade period, an average annual decrease of 9%, according to the study.
As a result, said SAIC,
Because of projected higher energy costs, SAIC said
CEA president David Holt said that SAIC study shows that failure to develop US offshore energy resources will “give us higher energy prices, greater volatility, expanded foreign dependence and $2,300bn less for everyday Americans to spend”.
Holt said that those consequences can be avoided.
However, he added, “the bad news is that despite overwhelming support for ne energy exploration among the American people, the inertia of inaction that has defined this debate will be difficult to reverse”.
Holt and officials with the gas suppliers group said they hope the study results will help influence federal energy policy decisions in the White House and in Congress.
CEA member organisations include the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the
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