Secretary Salazar continues to face pressure from all sides over oil drilling in Gulf

As Ken Salazar heads to Capitol Hill Wednesday for the first of two days of hearings, the interior secretary will be facing pressure from all sides of the deep-water drilling debate. Despite his own personal agenda, Salazar is in many ways the middle man between two opposing forces pushing on him to act in different directions on issuing permits to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“After kicking the approval for oil drilling permits down the road for months, Salazar has finally hit the wall as he faces a congressional grilling,” said Tom Borelli of the Free Enterprise Project.

“By putting a face on an unelected bureaucrat, Congress can send a strong message that they are willing to hold Salazar accountable for his lack of action,” Borelli added.

Capitol Hill Republicans and industry representatives are mounting a full-court press to force Salazar’s hand on issuing deep-water permits. The announcement Monday evening that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) would issue the first deep-water permit since the BP oil spill last April to Noble Energy was widely viewed as an attempt to at least temporarily alleviate that pressure.

But Salazar’s 11th hour concession ahead of his testimony on the Hill did little to smooth things over with Republicans, who were quick to point out that the permit to Noble Energy is not exactly “new.” Rather, it allows a company to resume drilling activities that were suspended in May when the Obama administration implemented a drilling moratorium in the Gulf.

Washington Rep. Doc Hastings, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, the very committee Salazar will appear before on Thursday, responded to the announcement by saying it was good news, but not enough.

“The Administration must immediately move ahead with issuing other permits and comply with the recent judicial decision ordering the Administration to act,” said Hastings. “This one new permit will not ease the economic pain being inflicted on Gulf families.”

Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy is proposing a bill called the SECURE Act which would compel Salazar and the Department of Interior to allow oil companies that had been approved for deep-water drilling prior to the BP oil spill to resume drilling without any further delay. Murphy’s SECURE Act currently has roughly 20 co-sponsors in the House.

Jim Adams, president and CEO of Offshore Marine Service Association, released a statement in response to Salazar supposed concession, saying, “Much more is needed, and soon.”

“There are over 100 deep-water development plans that have yet to be cleared to even become eligible for a permit,” Adams said. “Stopping all permits, and then approving a single one, only prolongs the suffering of thousands or workers and their families.”

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  • Two Elks

    Even when Salazar was in Colorado he never did a thing that didn’t benefit himself or his family. Read THE TAYLOR RACH WAR: property rights die by Dick Johnston-pub 06 Ken even had a hand in this court decision. Things have gotten even worse as he increased in power in this lawless administration.

  • Whit

    What are we dealing with here? It is an attitude on both sides of this question which I believe to have a spiritual basis. There are those of us that believe we should have access to the blessing bestowed upon us by the Lord and those who believe that we should despise and reject those blessing, that there is prosperity in scarcity, that our individual drive and desire is detrimental to the earth. This is not Biblical.

    This attitude is and has been expressed by these so called environmentalist that oppose all development of those blessings. Seeing that both sides can’t be right how are we to make proper choice? We do make painful mistakes and that is one of the ways we get experience. The oil patch found out the hard way that we must keep or premises clean so now we keep pollution under reasonable control and nature is able to mop up the residue. We do not keep our environment clean without the recycling by nature of the refuse of one being the food of another. Without this none of our efforts would work.

    ~ Pr 20:4 ¶ The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. ~

    This sluggard had a field of opportunity that had to be prepared during a time that was uncomfortable in order to have food at a later date. By the time the weather warmed up it was past the planting date. This is the environmental program. My question is whose interest are they serving? It is not my interest. It should not be our government’s interest so that would make it a foreign interest. A foreign spirit that has invaded our thinking. Whose interest is being served by this drilling moratorium? By the Wisconsin demonstrations,the global demonstrations? Are they all in unity or disparate? We have questions that each and every individual needs to answer. Joshua asked the question:

    ~ Jos 24:15 ¶ And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. ~

    We can choose to serve some of these interests by default so there is no way not to choose but we cannot choose to do right without putting out some effort.

    I believe China was involved in our environmental concerns that shut down our Mojave Desert mine producing the rare earth needed for our powerful neodymium magnets. We had a factory in Indiana manufacturing these magnets with technology China lacked but the environmentalist shut down the Mojave mine by using the desert tortoise as the fulcrum to pry their agenda over. And just what was that agenda? Does anyone really know?

    China, to my knowledge, has the only other source of this rare earth in the Gobi Desert where there are no desert tortoise or any other environmental concern.

    That forced us to import rare earth from China and China used that to buy out our Indiana factory with the promise to keep it open. When they had our technology they shut down our fctory and moved all production to China where they have an absolute monopoly on these magnets though they are essential to many of our technological advances. To learn something about these magnets just type magnets into a search engine. It can be interesting.

    Did China take advantage of our environmental concerns or did they promote those concerns to their own advantage. The question still remains. Whose interest do these environmental concerns benefit? Surely we have the wisdom and knowledge to find the right answer.

  • lvjohn

    Having known Ken Salazar from living in Colorado all I can say about him is that he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and that he isn’t capable of being secretary of anything. If he wasn’t Hispanic obama would have never appointed him.

  • z06gal

    Amazing, simply amazing! They are concerned about the wildlife but screw the people there who are suffering because of the inept policies of this administration. These people are stunning in their hypocrisy. They are okay with people losing everything they have but please don’t hurt a bird. And we wonder why this country is in the shape it is? Wow

  • bozsbusiness

    What to do, What to do?? Salazar between a rock and a hard spot; better call the Committee to Re-elect the President. They’ll be better at figuring out where the most votes are. Meanwhile, someone else can work out a way to garner votes and blame republicans or Bush for $7 a gallon gas.

  • barryaz

    This idiot needs to be brought into court and found in contempt and immediately jailed. When do we start enforcing laws in this country to the supposedly elites rather than always enforcing them against the average person who can’t afford high priced lawyers, etc.

  • TxGold

    Good Lord! Somebody get that goofy hat off of him.

  • patrick

    Salazar is an absolute tool. His handling of the gulf situation was a true joke. His role in stopping the drilling is a microcosm of the kind of destructive policy we get when we elect ideologue liberals with double digit IQ’s.

  • spike1120

    The perfect obammy example of ineptitude coupled with arrogance. He’s the male Lizzy Warren.