Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today set aside the Bush administration’s midnight timetable for a vast expansion of offshore drilling. Salazar sharply rebuked the “headlong rush of the worst kind” put in place in Bush’s final week in office. Announcing that “the time for reform has arrived,” Salazar explained that he “will extend the public comment period by 180 days, get a report on offshore energy resources, hold regional conferences, and expedite rulemaking for offshore renewable energy resources“:
I intend to do what the Bush Administration refused to do: build a framework for offshore renewable energy development, so that we incorporate the great potential for wind, wave, and ocean current energy into our offshore energy strategy. The Bush Administration was so intent on opening new areas for oil and gas offshore that it torpedoed offshore renewable energy efforts.