Secretary Salazar: Administration's Strategy Seeks Responsible Energy Development on All Fronts Responsible Energy Development on All Fronts

Last edited 09/29/2021

BISMARCK, N.D. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told energy executives today that the President's comprehensive energy strategy seeks to responsibly develop all fronts and that North Dakota offers significant conventional and renewable resources that can help to reduce America's dependence on foreign energy while creating new jobs.

“We need a new energy plan for America – one that takes advantage of our conventional resources – including oil, gas, and coal – and renewable resources, such as solar, wind, biofuels and geothermal,” Salazar said in keynote remarks at the Great Plains Energy Expo. “We are committed to developing our nation's conventional resources -- in the right way and in the right places -- while also developing the renewable energy technologies that will shape this century.”

Salazar said the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal and that the nation will continue to rely on this critical domestic energy resource for years to come. “But U.S. companies should be leading the world, developing and exporting to countries like China and India advanced coal technologies that promote carbon capture and sequestration,” Salazar said. “Interior wants to be a full partner in this job creating effort and will look to scale up carbon capture and sequestration on the public lands that we manage with large-scale demonstration projects.”

Salazar noted that Interior's Bureau of Land Management has held 29 onshore oil and gas lease sales and its Minerals Management Service has conducted two offshore auctions this year. Together these sales offered more than 55 million acres for oil and natural gas development and generated more than $931 million in revenues. To advance carbon sequestration initiatives, Interior's U.S. Geological Survey is launching a nationwide assessment of the geological storage capacity for carbon dioxide in oil and gas reservoirs and saline formations.

“We must harness the energy and resources we need in ways that will allow us, generation after generation, to experience America's great outdoors as we do today,” Salazar cautioned. “But there is also a reality that we have to recognize. America's oil and gas supplies are limited. So we must diversify.”

Salazar said that of the solar and wind projects currently proposed, more than 5,300 megawatts of new capacity could be ready for construction by the end of 2010. That is enough to power almost 1.6 million homes. And project construction will create more than 48,000 jobs.

North Dakota has some of the greatest renewable energy potential in the nation and is poised to become a national leader in developing wind, Salazar said.

“Developed in the right way and in the right places, the Great Plains' states vast wind energy potential– along with solar, geothermal, and other renewables - can power our economy with affordable energy, create thousands of new jobs, and reduce harmful pollution associated with the burning of fossil fuels.”

The full text of the Secretary's remarks are online at /news/speeches/2009_09_11_speech.cfm

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