Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Testifies before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar accompanied by Deputy Secretary David Hayes and Counselor to the Secretary Steve Black, answered a wide range of questions on the government's response to the BP oil spill during testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wednesday June 9.
Secretary Salazar describes the moratorium on OCS drilling as pushing the "pause button" until it can be done safely.
“The President’s commission which will take a look at all of these issues will have a recommendation based on the President’s directive within six months that those recommendations be incorporated into how we move forward with outer continental shelf drilling. But between now and then, it was our view; it was the President’s directive that we press the “pause” button.” It’s important for all of you on this committee to know that word, it’s the “pause button” it’s not the stop button but it’s the pause button. And it’s a pause button so we can make sure that if we move forward with OCS drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf that can be done in a way that is protective of people and protective of the environment as we.”
Secretary Salazar talks about the reorganization of MMS.
“Our reorganization is not cosmetic, our reorganization is essentially blowing up MMS and putting it into different parts of the department and separating functions to avoid both perceived and real conflicts of interest. So it is an overhaul of this function of the government in every complete sense of the way. Now it doesn’t mean that things we did before will be taken away. For example, still requiring ethics training and having ethics counselors and having ethics part of the performance standards, that all will be done as well. But what we have done under the Secretarial Order and will be implementing is a complete reconstruction of the MMS function.”