“I want to welcome my colleagues, our witnesses and especially Secretary Salazar to today’s hearing on the important topic of energy development on public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf. Our Nation has abundant energy resources, a good portion of which are found on our onshore public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf. These resources are owned by all of the people of the United States, and their management is entrusted to the Federal Government.
“That’s why we’re particularly pleased that our new Secretary of the Interior is here today to tell us about his vision for the development of our energy resources on public lands, both onshore and offshore. Secretary Salazar has important decisions to make – decisions that may prove essential to our Nation’s energy security and economic well-being – but also decisions that will impact the landscape and our environment for generations to come.
“I look forward to hearing more about the Administration’s plans in this regard. I hope that Secretary Salazar can share with us his vision for how we can determine the best places for energy development on the OCS, and how we can move forward to get more energy production – both oil and gas and renewables – in a safe and environmentally sound manner from the Outer Continental Shelf.
“I know that the Secretary is also interested in our onshore oil and gas leasing program. We recognize the contribution of that program to our energy supply. I hope that under his leadership, the BLM can resolve any resource conflicts up front, so that this important program can run smoothly and efficiently. To this end, it is also important that the inspection and enforcement program at the BLM be well-funded.
“Finally, this Administration is clearly committed to renewable energy. I know Secretary Salazar is. The Department of the Interior and the Forest Service have a key role in the siting of generation and transmission facilities for wind and solar energy. I know that Secretary Salazar has already undertaken initiatives to bring about more renewable energy production on Federal lands.”
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