WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today hosted a Clean Energy Economy Forum with stakeholders from 39 states across the country at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Deputy Secretary David Hayes and other top Department of the Interior officials spoke about the importance of renewable energy and job creation, climate impact and adaptation, and efforts to support and maintain the treasured landscapes of America in the emerging clean energy economy.
“At Interior, we manage one-fifth of the nation's land mass and 1.7 billion acres of ocean off our coasts, including many of the best locations for large-scale renewable energy projects,” Secretary Salazar said. “We are also the Department that is – and will be for years to come – on the front lines of our nation's response to the impacts of climate change on our land, water, wildlife, and tribal resources.”
About 164 stakeholders from as far north as Alaska and as far south as Texas and Alabama attended the forum. Representing a broad-based network of organizations and institutions, including sportsmen and women, business leaders, conservationists, and Indian Country officials, the stakeholders engaged top Administration and Department officials in a discussion about the need for a comprehensive energy plan that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, creates jobs, and reduces the carbon pollution that causes climate change.
Today's forum highlighted the unique position of the Department of the Interior, which plays a leading role in the new energy frontier to responsibly develop conventional and renewable sources of energy on Federal lands and waters. Since January, the Department has held 27 onshore lease sales and two offshore auctions, offering more than 55 million acres for oil and natural gas development and generating more than $875 million in revenues. The Department has also invested $41 million in recovery funds to facilitate a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands and tribal lands, which have some of the highest renewable and conventional resource potential in the Country.
Under Secretary Salazar's leadership, Interior is helping to build the Nation's clean energy economy, while addressing the impacts of climate change on our land, water, wildlife, and communities. The Department has established the first-ever coordinated departmental strategy to address climate change and is providing sound science, land management practices, and innovative carbon sequestration strategies for the country.
“In the first months of the Obama Administration, we have made incredible progress on the new energy frontier.” Secretary Salazar said. “Today's Clean Energy Economy Forum is yet another example of the commitment and dedication this Administration has made to strengthening our energy security and protecting our land, water, and wildlife for future generations.”