Interior Secretary Salazar “studying” the issue

President Obama has signaled that he is open to the possibility of more off shore oil and gas drilling and production as part of a “comprehensive” overhaul of America’s energy policy. Since the new Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar says he will be “studying” the proposal, now is the time to show Washington that there is NO support for opening our shores to more exploitation by the oil giants. Honestly, while I supported Obama before Iowa, I don’t expect the government to make the right decision, the only correct decision, on this issue. Follow the link below, give your comments, the time is now more than ever.

Los Angeles Times 1/23/2009 (excerpts)

With a short memo on Inauguration Day, President Obama blocked plans to loosen some air quality standards and to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list. But he did not stop several other controversial, late-term environmental regulations issued by the Bush administration — at least not yet.

That memo does not affect the decision, announced last week by the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, to begin a process that could lead to oil and gas drilling on parts of the Outer Continental Shelf. That’s because the department decided only to begin taking public comments on the plan, not formal rule-making, a department spokesman said.

In the case of offshore oil drilling, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar could extend or suspend the comment period on the leasing plan. Or, Obama could issue an executive order reinstating a ban on outer continental shelf drilling.

Salazar signaled mixed support for continental shelf drilling last week in a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Salazar is studying the Bush rules, said Interior spokesman Frank Quimby, and “it’s going to be a while” before he decides on how to handle them.

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