A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretaries Salazar and Chu Convene Federal, Industry Officials to Discuss Deepwater Blowout Containment
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In remarks today at a joint Department of the Interior and Department of Energy forum, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar pledged that the U.S. Government will be fully engaged in the effort to develop a robust capability to handle deepwater blowouts on the Outer Continental Shelf.
“To achieve our objective of safer offshore energy production, we must eliminate the gap between the technology and knowledge that allows oil and gas companies to tap reserves beneath 5,000 feet of water - and the technologies and strategies that allow us to deal with emergencies at those depths,” Salazar told a meeting of U.S. government, industry, and stakeholder leaders and experts.
“Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and I have convened this meeting to discuss the increased understanding we now have on how to strengthen blowout containment capabilities,” Salazar said. “It is my hope that today's discussion will help guide reforms that are raising the bar for the oil and gas industry's practices, as well as to help inform recommendations on whether and how to lift the current deepwater drilling suspension.”
Salazar noted that the Obama administration has executed the most aggressive offshore drilling reforms in the nation's history in response to the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill. “Our goal,” the Secretary said, “is simple: to raise the bar on safety and environmental protections so that deepwater drilling can safely resume.”
In addition to Secretaries Salazar and Chu, the participants included Interior Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes; Dr. Marcia McNutt, Director, United States Geological Survey; Dr. Tom Hunter, former Director, Sandia National Laboratory; Michael R. Bromwich, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement; Ret.. Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander; Rear Admiral Brian M. Salerno, Deputy Commandant for Operations, United States Coast Guard; Andrew Inglis, Chief Executive of Exploration & Production, BP; Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman& CEO, ExxonMobil; Hon. Don Winter, PhD, National Academy of Eningeering; and Elgie Holstein, Environmental Defense Fund.