Jacksonville, Fla. (May 13) – Today, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is issuing a Clean Energy Gulf Challenge to solicit and award a cash prize for the best plan that demonstrates how the United States can end both offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and imports of Persian Gulf oil. The unfolding oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has sharpened the debate between foreign oil imports and risky offshore domestic production. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy believes that there is a way, not only to end our dependence on oil imports from potentially unstable government regimes in the Persian Gulf, but to also phase out the environmentally risky practice of offshore oil and gas drilling.
“It’s a false tradeoff to say that we must undertake dangerous offshore drilling activities or see an increase in oil imports from potentially hostile regimes,” said Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of SACE. “People want to see a future that eliminates U.S. oil extraction from both locations, and we are seeking the brightest minds to map out a bridge to that future.”
The Clean Energy Gulf Challenge will accept plans from individuals, companies, academic institutions and “think tanks” over the next few weeks (contest deadline is Monday, June 14th) that lay out the details of how to get the U.S. to end domestic offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Persian Gulf oil imports. Experts in the energy field will review the plans. The top three selections will be presented to the public during the week of Independence Day as a tribute to America’s movement towards energy independence. The public will then have an opportunity to cast their votes, and the $10,000 prizewinner will be announced on Tuesday, July 13th.
“Increasing efficiency standards on cars and trucks, using sustainable biofuels, electrifying a portion of vehicle fleets and a host of other measures will reduce America’s oil consumption. I believe that reducing our oil and gas consumption one-fifth [or 20 percent] by 2020 could get our nation out of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Persian Gulf,” Dr. Smith stated. “Many alternatives are available now, and we are looking for the best and the brightest to help the American people understand that yes, we can do this. The Clean Energy Gulf Challenge will spotlight the path forward and give people hope that we are not hostage to two very bad situations.”
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Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. For more information, visit: www.cleanenergy.org