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Posted Wed Feb 11 2009: from Associated Press:
Salazar rejects Bush drilling plan
WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has rejected a Bush administration plan to open vast waters off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts to oil and gas drilling, promising "a new way forward" in offshore energy development including new wind projects. Salazar at a news conference Tuesday criticized "the midnight timetable" for new oil and gas development on the country's Outer Continental Shelf proposed by the Bush administration four days before President Barack Obama took office Jan. 20. The secretary said the previous administration's plan did not take into consideration the views of states and coastal communities, nor a need to better understand what energy resources are at stake, especially off the Atlantic coast where oil and gas estimates are more than three decades old. "We need to ... restore an orderly process to our offshore energy planning program," declared Salazar, criticizing "foot dragging" by the Bush administration in pushing for renewable energy development in coastal waters.Salazar did not rule out expanded offshore drilling, but criticized "the enormous sweep" of the Bush proposal, which envisioned energy development from New England to Alaska including lease sales in areas off California and in the North Atlantic that have been off-limits for a quarter century.
[Read more stories about: renewable energy, smart policy]

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