US Public Lands Will No Longer Be Oil Industry's Candy Store: Secretary of Interior
photo: Wellington Grey via flickr.
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is an interesting guy: Vocally supportive of renewable energy (yay!) but also a fan of more oil shale development (nay!). Well here's one more example of that. The New York Times reports that Salazar has said that under his watch public lands will no longer be a "candy store" for the oil and gas industry:
The previous administration's 'anywhere, anyhow' policy on oil and gas development ran afoul of communities, carved up the landscape and fueled costly conflicts that created uncertainty for investors and industry. We need a fresh look--from inside the federal government and from outside--at how we can better manage Americans' energy resources.
All that said, Salazar doesn't think that this further scrutiny will necessarily result in less public land being tapped for fossil fuels, just that it will now take more time to make decisions on leasing.
Keep in mind that new guidelines by the Bureau of Land Management will not just apply to oil and gas leasing, but other forms of energy development as well. Recent analysis shows that should the greater sage grouse be listed under the Endangered Species Act, approval of wind farms in western states where the birds live could take longer as well.
One of Salazar's first acts in office was to cancel controversial oil and gas leases in Utah which would have been right next to several national parks.
More: Interior Chief Vows Scrutiny of Oil and Gas Leases
Controversial Oil & Natural Gas Leases on Utah Public Land Cancelled by Department of Interior
3000 Us Coal Power Plants Could be Replaced by Offshore Wind Power: Sec. of Interior Dept of Interior Hearts Oil Shale: Has 'Great Potential' Salazar Says