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This Week at Interior September 20, 2013


September 20, 2013


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Hi, I'm Tommy Beaudreau, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and you're watching This Week at Interior. 

 

THIS WEEK… AT INTERIOR…

 

LIKE SO MANY FAMILIES, HOMES, AND BUSINESSES, INTERIOR ASSETS AND EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN IMPACTED THIS WEEK BY THE RECORD HEAVY RAIN FALL IN COLORADO, WHERE IN SOME AREAS, MORE THAN 17 INCHES HAS FALLEN SO FAR THIS MONTH. 

 

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE HAS CLOSED THREE PARKS DUE TO THE FLOODING CONDITIONS…ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, GILA CLIFF DWELLINGS NATIONAL MONUMENT, AND RAINBOW BRIDGE NATIONAL MONUMENT, ARE ALL CLOSED INDEFINITELY… WHILE  THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE HAS CLOSED THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ARSENEL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE.

 

THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION IS WORKING HARD TO RESTORE RELIABLE WATER SUPPLIES AND KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON ALL DAMS, CANALS, AND SIPHONS IN THE AREA TO ENSURE THEY CONTINUE TO FUNCTION PROPERLY. AND USGS SCIENTISTS ARE WORKING TO RESTORE STREAM GAUGES, ASSESSING LANDSLIDE AND DEBRIS FLOW POTENTIAL AND EVALUATING POSSIBLE CONTAMINANTS IN SEDIMENTS TO ASSIST STATE OFFICIALS PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY. 

 

HISTORY MADE THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR, WITH THE SIGNING OF THE *FIRST EVER* COMPETITIVE LEASE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IN FEDERAL WATERS. DEEPWATER WIND WAS AWARDED TWO LEASES FOR NEARLY 165 THOUSAND ACRES OFF THE COAST OF RHODE ISLAND AND MASSACHUSETTS FOR WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT. ONCE BUILT, THE AREA COULD GENERATE ENOUGH ELECTRICITY TO POWER MORE THAN ONE MILLION HOMES. COMPANY OFFICIALS, U.S. SENATOR SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, AND BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES WERE ON HAND TO MARK THE MAJOR MILESTONE IN PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE ENERGY STRATEGY AND CLIMATE ACTION PLAN TO CREATE JOBS, CUT CARBON POLLUTION, AND MOVE OUR ECONOMY TOWARD CLEAN DOMESTIC ENERGY SOURCES. 

 

The President has challenged us to bring on line 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020. Offshore wind for the United States I think is going to be an important part of meeting that goal, meeting that challenge by the President, to help us address climate change. 

 

SECRETARY JEWELL SAYS AMERICANS SHOULDN’T HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN  JOBS, RESPONSIBLY DEVELOPING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES, AND PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT, AS WE WORK TO CURB THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR THIS WEEK, THE SECRETARY CALLED THAT A *FALSE CHOICE*, AND REMINDED VIEWERS THAT INTERIOR IS UNIQUELY PLACED TO PREPARE OUR PUBLIC LANDS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE WHILE STANDING UP RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS ON PUBLIC LANDS. YOU CAN FIND THAT ENTIRE INTERVIEW ON CNN DOT COM.

 

U.S PARK POLICE CHIEF THERESA CHAMBERS WAS THE SPECIAL  GUEST THIS WEEK AT A WREATH LAYING AT ARLINGTON’S TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS… THE WREATH LAYING HONOR IS *USUALLY* RESERVED FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL, OR FOREIGN DIGNITARIES. CHAMBERS WAS INVITED BY MAJOR GENERAL JEFFREY BUCHANAN, COMMANDER OF THE JOINT FORCE HEADQUARTERS NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, AND THE U-S ARMY MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON. CHAMBERS TOOK THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HONOR PARK POLICE MEMBERS WHO ARE ALSO MILITARY VETERANS… SHE ALSO HAILED THE STRONG RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PARK POLICE AND THE MILITARY, CALLING THEM EACH PART OF THE TAPESTRY OF SECURITY AND PROTECTION IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL.

 

BRIAN SALERNO *OFFICIALLY* SWORN IN THIS WEEK TO HEAD UP THE BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT. SALERNO IS A FORMER COAST GUARD VICE ADMIRAL WHO PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN RESPONDING TO THE DEEPWATER HORIZON TRAGEDY. HE SAYS HE’S GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO ONCE AGAIN SERVE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. 

 

SECRETARY JEWELL ON HAND THIS WEEK TO HELP INTERIOR’S INDIAN ARTS AND  CRAFT SHOP MARK ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY. THE SHOP FIRST OPENED IN 1938 UNDER THEN-SECRETARY HAROLD ICKES, TO SUPPORT AUTHENTIC INDIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS. TODAY IT FEATURES THE FINEST IN AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY, WORKS OF ART, MUSIC, AND MORE… REPRESENTING MORE THAN 45 TRIBAL GROUPS. YOU CAN CHECK THEM OUT AT INDIANCRAFTSHOP DOT COM.

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.