US Sec. Salazar Launches Regional Meetings on OCS Energy Devt

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will host regional public meetings in Atlantic City and New Orleans next week to gather information and public comment to help build a comprehensive energy strategy for the Outer Continental Shelf.

The meetings are scheduled for Monday, April 6, at the Atlantic City Convention Center and Wednesday, April 8, at Tulane University's McAlister Auditorium. They begin at 9 a.m. local time and the morning session will be carried live by webcast. The link is Secretary Salazar will hold an availability for credentialed media only following the morning session. The meetings, which include lunch and dinner breaks, are scheduled to end at 8 p.m.

After opening remarks by the Secretary, a report from Interior's Minerals Management Service and U.S. Geological Survey will be presented, summarizing the available information on the extent of U.S. offshore energy resources -- conventional and renewable -- along with information regarding sensitive environmental areas and resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Regional Governors and elected federal officials, private citizens, interested organizations, energy producers, advocacy groups, and local governments have been invited to attend and offer brief comments. Most of the meeting will be devoted to hearing from these elected officials and public and private interests. Those wishing to speak will be asked to register upon entering the conference hall.

Individuals unable to attend or speak at the meeting are welcome to submit written statements, comments or documents, either at the meeting or during the extended public comment period. Those comments can be either submitted at the meeting or throughout the extended public comment period electronically at, "Five Year Program," "How to Comment," or by mail to Ms. Renee Orr, Chief, Leasing Division, Mineral Management Service, MS 4010, 381 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170-4817.

Two other public comment meetings on Outer Continental Shelf energy development will be held at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 14; and at the University of California-San Francisco's Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco on Thursday, April 16.

These meetings are part of a four-part strategy Salazar announced on Feb. 10, 2009, for developing a new, comprehensive energy development plan for the U. S. Outer Continental Shelf, including conventional and renewable resources. Interior oversees more than 1.7 billion acres on the Outer Continental Shelf -- an area roughly three fourths the size of the entire United States.