Interior Chief Vows Scrutiny of Oil and Gas Leases

Posted by Trish Riley, January 7, 2010

Thanks to Julie Garrett for sharing this story:

‘WASHINGTON — The interior secretary, Ken Salazar, said Wednesday that his department would conduct more rigorous reviews of oil and gas leasing on public lands, declaring that the agency would no longer be a “candy store” for the petroleum industry, as he said it had been during the Bush administration.

“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,” said Mr. Salazar, a former senator from Colorado. “We need a fresh look — from inside the federal government and from outside — at how we can better manage Americans’ energy resources.”

As for industry’s complaints, he added: “I think they’re wrong. In the prior administration the oil and gas industry essentially were the kings of the world. Whatever they wanted to happen, happened. The agency was essentially the handmaiden of the industry.””

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