US Sec. Salazar: US Can't Close Door on Oil and Gas

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
(Click to Enlarge)

(Dow Jones Newswires), April 6, 2009

The U.S. has not ruled out opening new offshore territory to oil and gas exploration, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a roomful of lawmakers, environmental activists and ordinary citizens Monday.

Salazar was speaking in Atlantic City, N.J., at the start of a public meeting to discuss offshore energy development.

Congress last year let a moratorium on offshore drilling expire, which would greatly expand the area where the Interior Department can offer leases to oil and gas companies. Salazar is holding four public meetings around the country to seek public comment.

Many in attendance came to speak in opposition, claiming that drilling would pose a risk to the environment as well as tourism.

"I know there are some people who want us to close the door on oil and gas, but the reality is oil and gas (exists) in potentially significant (amounts), especially in the Gulf of Mexico," Salazar said. "Whether we open other areas is something to be decided based on these hearings."

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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Zenith | Apr. 27, 2009
South Eastern Kansas has a known exploration group that has discovered a lot of oil and shale gas. Horizontal drilling would show even more. It has been researched and tested. The reserves are there. Why can't we drill for this?? We have it, why can't we use it?? The government is nuts to put so much restriction on these companies. Take a look at Hemi Energy. They are the cleanest company you can find. They treat the environment with respect. They have a WHOLE lot, but the good old USA does not want it!

James L Irwin RPH | Apr. 11, 2009
Please drill, explore, produce and sell domestic and export for improved balance of payments. The coast of California and GOM are alright and the central part of San Joaquin Valley. My state is bankrupt, and the US Economy is declining. Tourism will always exist and people litter California all day long, so a few drilling wells in unusual artistic designs will be OK.

Dustin Loper | Apr. 8, 2009
I don't understand why we are buying oil and gas for other countries when we can drill for it here in the U.S.A. and create jobs and tax money for the U.S.A.

Dennis Franklin | Apr. 7, 2009
We should be drilling in all offshore areas. If we don't, others will. Where is our common sense?

Susan Strobel | Apr. 7, 2009
I think we should open new offshore territory to oil & gas exploration. As stated in the article, the Gulf of Mexico could have significant amounts, and we already have some offshore rigs there.

Roy W Hamous | Apr. 7, 2009
This USA Congress, Senate, White House and all our leaders along with all the environmental Nut Jobs are going to completely destroy our Energy Oil and Gas Sectors and power generation Sectors along with our Engineering Firms. They have single handedly stopped or delayed all future jobs and projects in all areas of the USA and Offshore waters. They are going to bankrupt our Coal Industries, which is a quote of our leaders. They are crushing our jobs, destroying our leadership and innovations future in the World. They are making us subservient to our enemies and our "No good for Nothing" leaders. I have been in Oil and Gas and power generation for 33 years and I'm trying to completely do a career change, just so I can provide for my family. All Energy Companies should leave the USA or risk being taxed to death or completely destroyed.

Phil Walton | Apr. 7, 2009
If Ken Salazar is so concerned about oil and gas exploration, why did he pull all the oil and gas bids for federally regulated lands in the rocky mountain area? I personally think he, along with the rest of the current administration, are showing their inexperience with the oil/gas industry and it will take them some time to reestablish drilling and exploration in the US.

David Blair | Apr. 7, 2009
Deciding not to drill only confirms to the other countries that America is not willing to stand on the principals for which we were founded, we are too easily swayed by the personal agenda of a few rather than what is good for the country as a whole. It appears the only way the current administration can pass its own agenda of going green is to raise the price of oil to make their plan appear to be competitive regardless of the cost.

Robyn | Apr. 7, 2009
I think we need oil and shouldn't be dependent on foreign oil when we have the resources right here. Not only that but it provides many great paying jobs for Americans.

Arnold Bron | Apr. 7, 2009
To not open additional offshore areas for exploration would be ludicrous, irresponsible and cause more exporting of dollars to not friendly countries.

David Segobia | Apr. 7, 2009
Sadly, the people who show up at these hearings aren't the hard working people in the oil and gas industry who are trying to provide that energy. They are the wide-eyed, misinformed, zealots dressed as polar bears that will get the ear of Mr. Salazar. Strange that a man from a resource rich state like Colorado wants to strangle his home state economy as well as disregard the needs of the nation. He's already shown where he stands on the issue of federal gas leases in the west. This is all for show.

Austin | Apr. 7, 2009
It gets more scary and sad each day with the lack of intelligence and lack of basic common sense that we have in our political leadership.

Larry Worley | Apr. 7, 2009
We can't close the door on oil & gas - This guy is a rocket scientist!

Robert C. Lynch | Apr. 7, 2009
If we don't do something positive, like drilling for American oil and gas, the price for gasoline alone will keep the tourists away. The only way to keep prices in check in ANY market is through fair competition. If the Middle East controls the market, they will also control the price!

Aa | Apr. 7, 2009
Place additional taxes on regions or states that do not provide resources. Provide regions and states incentives to promote energy resources

Jim Arbon | Apr. 7, 2009
Open access to the wealth of reserves located in these territories, as we are being held captives by OPEC and history proves that the price of oil & gas will dramatically rise once again.

The Law of Supply & Demand, will be applied over and over, and we will be forced to pay what the market will bare. How does $4-6 dollars per gallon sound?

Louis Ludlum | Apr. 7, 2009
What is his schedule for future meetings? I would like to attend.

Ron | Apr. 7, 2009
It's real simple. The more we put off development of oil/gas, the more we put ourselves in a hole. Jimmy Carter almost ruined the oil industry. Now 25 yrs later, Obama is trying to do the same. The only reason he is shutting us down, is he is bed with the Saudis, Russians. Iran, Venzuela, and China. They elected him for their interests. Just follow the money trail. If California had developed its own oil, they would be in the same shape as Alaska. I know for a fact, that there are substantial reserves in the Baltimore canyon, offshore the east coast. Maybe Virginia might want to explore. There's enough natural gas offshore the west coast of Florida to supply the whole eastern US for 150 yrs. And in closing, we know how much is still in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska's arctic region.

Art Vandeley | Apr. 7, 2009
The "do not drill here, do not drill now" crowd is in control of US GOV. I don't see any significant steps forward by this administration over the next four years to make the USA energy independent.

Anonymous | Apr. 7, 2009
Why close the door on possible new drilling ventures and put EVEN MORE oil field workers out of work just to add to the unemployment rate!!

Jerry Benison | Apr. 7, 2009
The oil and oil services industry is a key part in the process of the USA getting over this economic slump. No matter how much some would like to go green ... it's not being realistic to think it can happen that quickly. USA has been a leader in petroleum technology since day one. Like it or not, the USA we live in is designed to run on hydrocarbons. You can't change that overnight.

John Barth | Apr. 7, 2009
We have to drill, period. Drilling for gas and oil both on shore and off shore is vital to our economic security as well as our national security. We have to be able to be self sufficient in meeting our energy needs and not relying on certain middle east and central american countries for them; as well as providing good paying jobs for thousands of Americans.

The oil companies do a good job in respecting the environment when they drill. I know, I work in the oil field.

What right do these people have in attempting to ban offshore drilling? They are in fact controlling the ability of every oilfield worker to earn a living and provide for their families.

Rob Foster | Apr. 6, 2009
As an American, I believe that the greatest common good can be achieved for our Nation by opening up both onshore and offshore drilling rights for oil and natural gas. We need to be Energy-Self-Sufficient, and at one time not many years ago, before the E&P sector had today's technology and sensitivity to the environment, we did have virtual self sufficiency. We need to regain that position. Things are different now, and our Country needs these local sources of petroleum, and the jobs that were once right here in the US.

Chris | Apr. 6, 2009
Drill Baby Drill!

Randy Burford | Apr. 6, 2009
Come on people!!! You have got to open up exploration in this country if we truly want to be "self sufficient" and not depend on foreign oil. You can't "have your cake and eat it too" on this topic. Not to mention, the thousands of jobs that the oil industry provides.


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