Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Salazar Weighs In On Offshore Drilling

When Ken Salazar was announced as Interior Secretary-designate, we mused about the pick's implications for energy polcy, specifically with respect to offshore oil drilling. Well, now Secretary Salazar has officially weighed in with something of a mixed message.

Salazar officially put the brakes on offshore drilling approved by the Bush Administration, but did not slam the door completely on the idea of future drilling. He promises a comprehesnive offshore energy plan within 45 days that incoporates not only oil and gas, but renewable alternatives like wind and wave energy as well.

According to the Ventura County Star:

"Salazar ordered government surveys to determine what energy resources are available off the nation’s coasts. He also extended the comment period for a new energy plan another six months and said he would hold four hearings across the country to allow for input from states and other interested parties.

“A ‘drill only’ approach — onshore or offshore — is not enough,” he said. “We need a new, comprehensive energy plan that takes us to the new energy frontier and secures our energy independence.”

The Bush administration’s draft proposal would have created a five-year drilling plan for what is known as the Outer Continental Shelf, which circles the U.S. shoreline."