Interior Secretary Salazar came out in strong favor of offshore renewable energy yesterday and also will extend public comment for plans for new drilling, allowing activists to push for more or less oil exploration off of the coasts. Secretary Salazar is not ruling out offshore drilling entirely, but he did scrap a plan that the Bush administration proposed in its final days that would have expanded offshore drilling, largely ignoring renewable energy development. He also offered this:
“For the last eight years, America has taken one road to energy independence, which was drill, drill, drill. I intend to do what the prior administration failed to do and that is to build a framework for offshore renewable energy development so that we can incorporate the great potential for wind, wave and ocean current energy into our offshore energy strategy.”
Also energy related, there was a pretty good analysis by Reuters discussing what Obama might do in terms of fossil fuels beyond oil. It looks like President Obama is taking a more pragmatic approach in that he won’t rule out pursuing the use of coal, whereas someone with a more hardline environmental record would. This part is particularly encouraging:
“Obama has walked a fine line with U.S. power-generating needs in the face of global warming. He has called for investment in solar and wind, but has also stressed how much coal mining contributes to the economies of several states, including his own, Illinois.
The $800 billion economic stimulus package pending in Congress includes tax breaks and incentives to boost renewable energy. But it also includes funds — $2.4 billion in the House version and $4.6 billion in the Senate version — for carbon capture and sequestration technology to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants, the National Mining Association’s Popovich noted.”