Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. (applause)
The department of the Interior made a major announcement at Andrews AFB on Wednesday
as Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined the President to announce a new strategy for America's Outer Continental Shelf.
Our strategy calls for expanded development and production in new areas, such as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico,
where we can develop resources that are more than 125 miles off of the Florida coast.
We are also moving forward with significant new oil and gas exploration in frontier areas,
such as the Arctic Ocean and areas in the Atlantic,
where we must first determine whether there exist oil and gas reserves
and then secondly determine if we can develop them appropriately.
And we are protecting areas off our coasts, like Alaska's Bristol Bay,
that are simply too important for us to develop.
Bristol Bay has some of the world's most important fisheries, including one of the largest sockeye salmon runs in the world.
People come from across the globe to see its bears, its whales, the seals, and the bald eagles.
It is a national treasure that we must protect.
Together, our efforts to explore, develop and protect represent a new direction from the past,
a change from the past on the Outer Continental Shelf.
President Obama has also made loan guarantees for the construction of a nuclear power facility
and the even the Pentagon is making use of fuel alternatives.
He describes the strategy as a transition to cleaner energy.
And in the short term, as we transition to cleaner energy sources,
we still gotta make some touch decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development
in ways that protect communities and protect coastlines.
Now this is not a decision that I've made lightly.
It's one that Ken and I as well as Carol Browner my energy advisor and others in my administration
looked at closely for more than a year.
But the bottom line is this, given our energy needs,
in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs and keep our businesses competitive,
we going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel
even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable homegrown energy.
To find out more about the Outer Continental shelf energy strategy,
go to the doi web page at www.doi.gov
and click on Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Strategy