After the Bush Administration had a “drill everywhere” policy, the Obama Administration and its Dept. of the Interior are setting stricter rules and greater public influence on how oil and gas leases are rewarded. This is a good step, considering that Salazar has in my opinion been disappointing over his lack of leadership on responsible mining and drilling issues that environmentalists expected to be resolved. Article from the Wall Street Journal is here, and notable excerpts are below.
“Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday announced policy changes he said would bring more scrutiny and a greater public voice in how oil and gas leases are awarded on public lands.
Mr. Salazar said the changes should ensure stricter environmental standards in oil and gas leasing while bringing more clarity to the process for energy companies hoping to drill on public lands, mostly in Western states.”
“”We don’t believe we ought to be drilling anywhere and everywhere,” Mr. Salazar said at a news conference. “We believe we need a balanced approach and a thoughtful approach” that allows development of oil and gas leases on public lands while also protecting national parks, endangered species and municipal watersheds.”
“But Republicans and industry groups said the changes would continue the Obama administration’s pattern of delaying development of natural gas on federal lands in the West. The changes will create extra layers of red tape that will allow government bureaucrats to trump the expertise of geologists and engineers, the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States said in a statement.”