Momentum builds for Atlantic drilling

Aug. 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Limiting development of offshore energy resources in the United States is hurting the everyday consumer, an advocacy group said.

Eight U.S. state governors who form a coalition advocating offshore energy developments say the Outer Continental Shelf contains at least 88.6 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil and more than 390 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Michael Whatley, executive vice president of the Consumer Energy Alliance, said his organization was standing behind efforts to bring more energy developments to the Atlantic Ocean.

"Without access to America's resources for safe and responsible energy development, American consumers will continue to be held to gas pump price fluctuations as global demand for oil increases," he said in an article published Monday by energy news website Rigzone.

The U.S. Energy Department said high gasoline prices are associated with developments in a global economy as well as domestic supplies.

In a five-year lease plan outlined in November 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the resource potential in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf "is not well understood and surveys of these areas are incomplete and out of date."

The U.S. government last year auctioned off maritime acreage off the coast of Rhode Island to support renewable energy, an effort supported by the governor's coalition.

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