The AP reports that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is dumping ye old Bush plan to open up areas of the Outer Continental Shelf in the Atlantic and the Pacific previously off limits to oil and gas drilling. A good portion of these virgin waters lie off of California.
It's not that Salazar is against expanding offshore drilling, says the story, he's just not that into the old admin's overbearing approach to the whole thing, not to mention its basing the midnight decision to drill on 30-year-old studies.
Let us have some fresh new reports, says Salazar, to find out how much oil and gas is out there; let's ask people what they think about it; and let's all do it with the wind at our backs -- that is, maybe some wind energy and other renewabale developments worked into a broader energy program.
The oil people are not happy. Now we gotta wait and wait and wait some more , says American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard.
UPDATE: Congressman Mike Thompson sends a news release with this statement:
"By extending the public comment period and making sure that there is sound science behind any policy decision, Secretary Salazar has taken the first crucial steps towards reversing the failed policies of the Bush Administration," said Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA). "This is a clear signal that important decisions about our precious natural resources will no longer be made by oil executives behind closed doors. I have told Secretary Salazar about the importance of protecting our coastline, and look forward to working with him to permanently ban drilling off the shores of the North Coast."