I was happy to see that the new Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, has stopped the Bush plan to drill off the Atlantic coast:
The Bush proposal “opened the possibility of oil and gas leases along the entire Eastern seaboard, portions of offshore California and the far eastern Gulf of Mexico with almost no consultation from states, industry or community input,” Salazar said at a news conference in Washington. “In my view it was a headlong rush of the worst kind.”
Obviously that’s an important development for New Jersey. However, Senator Bob Menendez is pointing out that this actually only blocks Bush’s 2010-2015 five year plan, and not the 2007-2012 plan:
“Secretary Salazar is doing the right thing by fully examining the prospect of unfettered coastline drilling issue before making any determinations. This is a departure from the previous administration, which seemed intent on rubber stamping the oil companies’ agenda. However, I still have serious concerns about the prospect of drilling off the coast of Virginia, less than 100 miles from New Jersey, because those plans remain in effect.
“I am only interested in energy policy that looks out for New Jersey families, not oil companies. Every reasonable study to date has shown that the oil along our coastline is years away from delivery and simply is not plentiful enough to significantly lower our energy costs. By bringing real change to our energy policy and emphasizing renewable energy instead of oil, we can create jobs, provide families with low-cost energy options and free ourselves from the shackles of foreign oil. On top of that, we can protect our shoreline, which is a state treasure and major economic driver for New Jersey families. I am hoping that the administration, after careful study of the issue, agrees with these conclusions and helps put us on a path to a new, more economical energy future.”