10 February 2009 22:25 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The administration of President Barack Obama on Tuesday postponed for six months action on an offshore oil and gas development plan issued by former President George Bush just days before he left office.
The postponement was quickly criticised by the ?xml:namespace>
Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar announced on Tuesday a six-month extension of the public comment period for the new five-year offshore development plan issued by the Bush administration on 16 January.
The Bush development plan for the
Until late last year, those
In announcing the six-month extension for public comment, Salazar said that the Obama administration needs to “set aside the Bush administration’s midnight timetable for its OCS drilling plan and create our own timeline”.
In addition to extending the public comment period to late September this year, Salazar said he will hold four public hearings in coastal communities.
He also directed the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) to assemble in 45 days all available information about conventional and renewable offshore energy resources along with developmental impact studies.
He said that based on the 45-day resources report, it may be necessary to spend more time determining what energy assets are in the OCS regions.
The OCS areas on the
Salazar said he wants to include renewable resources such as wind, wave and current energy in offshore development plans going forward, allowing “us to move from the ‘oil and gas only’ approach of the previous administration”.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), whose member firms account for 90% of
“This unnecessary delay will hold
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