Radio Actuality

Secretary Salazar Announces 38 Lease Sales for Oil and Natural Gas on U.S. Public Lands in 2010


The Department of the Interior has scheduled 38 oil and natural gas lease sales for U.S. public lands in 2010, including a sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced at a teleconference today.

Topic / Summary / Transcript
Topic: Oil and gas leasing continues to be part of the Obama Administrations comprehensive energy plan Secretary Salazar said.
“We believe that industry deserves greater certainty when they go into a lease auction.  They should never be given the false promise of a lease parcel next to a National Park.  The American people don’t want that and industry shouldn’t want that either.  The bottom line is that Americans want a comprehensive energy strategy that includes oil, gas, coal, wind solar and other resources.  We want oil and gas companies to engage with us and to be our partners in our energy future.  Regardless, we will continue to move forward with a comprehensive energy plan that the American people want.  We will continue to serve the people of this country and assure that the American people are getting a fair deal from their resources.”

Topic: In 2009 there were 32 onshore lease sales offering more than 2.7 million acres in the West.  Many parcels from past sales have yet to be developed.
“Large parts of the public domain have been made available to oil and gas companies for leasing and those places are not being developed and yet we continue as we announce today to make more of our public domain available for oil and gas development.  We will continue to do that in the future because we understand as President Obama has said that we need to have oil and gas and we need to have coal as part of our energy future.  And so we continue to do that as part of our energy plan.”

Topic:  Secretary Salazar has been working on reforming the process of leasing public lands and natural resources.  He says it will provide certainty for the industry.
“The reason that there is uncertainty is because of the fact that in the prior administration there were shortcuts taken, including leasing parcels that were next to National Parks and not doing the appropriate reviews and consultations that should occur.  We are undertaking a review effort here in the Department of the Interior with the Bureau of Land Management on how we reform the process and the reform process has several goals.  The first of those goals is to make sure that the American taxpayer is getting a fair return back to the Treasury for the leasing of these lands which belong to the American citizen.  The second is to make sure that we are leasing the public domain in the right places and avoiding the kind of litigation and protest that have accompanied many of these leases in the past.”