Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday on the Department of the Interior’s energy policies, priorities and initiatives for U.S. public land and the Outer Continental Shelf
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday on the Department of the Interior’s energy policies, priorities and initiatives for U.S. public land and the Outer Continental Shelf. He also announced that an agreement had been reached with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee to facilitate the permitting of renewable energy in offshore waters
Topic: Secretary Salazar signed a joint statement with Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Jon Wellinghoff announcing that the two agencies will work together to help get renewable energy projects off the drawing board and onto the Outer Continental Shelf.
“What we have with FERC that we completed last night that I signed off on, is an agreement on how we move forward. And it essentially makes a statement that the Department of Interior and MMS under the laws of this Congress has the authority with respect to offshore wind. And so that allows the rulemaking process, which had been held up, essentially move forward. We also note, recognize that we have some additional work to do but the chairman and I are committed and the members of the commission as well to help us move forward to conclusion in what’s going to be a broader MOU.”
Topic: Secretary Salazar says action is needed to build a super electronic highway to get renewable energy to population centers.
“If we are not able in some way to move forward with the choke-hold on the unavailability of transmission, we can study the potential of solar and wind and geo-thermal until the cows come home and it’s not going to get done. And so we just need to move forward, in my view agressively, in building the super electronic highway which President Obama has spoken about so elequoently and we need to do it together.”
Topic: Secretary Salazar will be the auctioneer at Wednesday’s oil and gas lease sale in New Orleans. He says oil and gas remain an important part of any comprehensive energy development plans.
“It’s my view that as we move forward with this huge American citizen asset that we need to be thoughtful about how we craft a plan forward. And that’s why we’re taking the kind of time that we’re taking in moving it ahead. And part of the reason that I’m going to New Orleans tomorrow is we want to send a loud and clear signal that when we talk about a comprehensive energy program for the nation that we recognize that oil and gas are going to be a part of that comprehensive energy program.”
Topic: Secretary Salazar says the administration’s position remains the same on the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, no drilling until the technology is proven.
“The position of the administration and my own position is that ANWR as a National Refuge needs to be absolutely protected. And I have not seen the information, other than what I have seen in news reports, about the ideas that my good friend Senator Murkowski have about horizontal drilling. So our position as an administration has not changed at all with respect to ANWR.”