Renewable energy may be the top priority for the Department of the Interior -- and so says Department Secretary Ken Salazar -- but that doesn't mean offshore drilling is off the table.
The DOI's Minerals Managment Service will hold a public meeting April 16 at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campus to talk about its new five-year proposal for offshore oil, gas and alternative energy. In it, Humboldt and Mendocino counties in particular have been identified as possible sites for offshore oil and gas developments.
"In essence, President Obama has sacked the Bush administration's five-year oil and gas drilling proposal in exchange for a new one," says Christina Aanestad with KZYX Community News down in Mendo.
Humboldt and Mendo are also listed as places of interest for wave energy projects, which was not the case under Bush. But energy gurus won't ignore the estimated 1.6 billion (with a "b") barrels of oil here on the North Coast -- reportedly the nation's fifth largest oil cache. Drilling won't happen without a fight, however. The governors of California, Oregon and Washington are all opposed to new offshore drilling developments, as are 60 percent of California citizens.
With all these facts and more, here's Aanestad's report: