Public Meeting No. 1 – Atlantic City

U.S. Interior chief confronts coastal energy passions in Atlantic City

By BEN LEACH April 06, 2009

When it comes to exploring the Outer Continental Shelf, New Jersey continues to say no to the prospect of oil drilling.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was in Atlantic City on Monday to hold the first of four national forums on potential energy resources, both alternative and conventional, to determine what issues the current administration needs to focus on before developing a comprehensive five-year energy plan for the country.

After the Department of the Interior presented information on energy resources and their potential impact on the environment, Gov. Jon S. Corzine and New Jersey congressmen were quick to come out adamantly opposed to drilling for oil off of New Jersey’s coast, even as far as 100 miles out to sea.

“Offshore drilling and pursuing those resources is not something we have an appetite for,” Corzine said.

Secretary Salazar took comments from environmental groups, industry representatives, and anyone from the public who wanted to present their views in favor or opposing actions taken in the OCS.

“Today’s comments showed the passion these people have for the OCS,” Salazar said.

And the Industry Response – Return to Dick Cheney Secret Meetings

By Institute for Energy Research Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – IER President Thomas J. Pyle today issued the following statement in response to growing concerns surrounding Secretary of Interior Salazar’s increasing efforts to close off public access to the creation of a five-year plan for energy production on the outer continental shelf (OCS).

“Secretary Salazar and his department may say they’re interested in an open comment period, but the real story appears to be a concerted attempt to make it harder than ever for the public to be heard. The Department of Interior has changed what was formerly a simple process for receiving public comments into a closed, lengthy, bureaucratic, process full of government red-tape and void of public opinion.

“Even though polling shows that the majority of the American people want to look for American energy in American waters, we still operate under a nearly three-decade self imposed embargo. Similarly, while Salazar continually states that the U.S. has only limited reserves, he fails to mention that his own department estimates that oil from the OCS could quadruple our reserves.

“Affordable, accessible American energy is far too important to be left to a politicized policy that doesn’t take Americans’ views into account. IER will continue to monitor and delve further into what looks like behind-the-scenes coordination among Administration leaders and political organizations.”

That damn Democracy…!

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