June 9th, 2010
04:47 PM ET
4 years ago

Salazar defends 'pause button' on deepwater drilling

Washington (CNN) - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday defended the Obama administration's six-month federal moratorium on deepwater drilling, which has come under fire from critics who argue that it's vital for reducing the dependence on foreign oil.

Speaking before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Salazar said the moratorium was necessary so "as we move forward with any kind of deepwater operation, that we can assure the American public and we can assure that everyone who was watching that in fact it can move forward in a safe way."

The moratorium comes as President Obama's oil spill commission investigates what caused the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion April 20. Its report is due in six months.

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Filed under: Energy • Ken Salazar
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Hows that oil slick coming along Rush?

    I want the critics to raise their hands and show their faces for every American to see.We wont forget who they are and whom to boycott.

    June 9, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Get A Grip

    Well, this administration is about to add another 40 thousands people or so to the unemployment line. FOOLS....that's what's running our country now....a bunch of FOOLS.

    June 9, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Bedtime for Obonzo

    The first serious accident in American waters in more than 40 years, and in order to provide a political fig leaf, the Beloved Leader hits the "pause button" and throws an additional 10,000 Gulf offshore oil workers out of work.

    June 9, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Mickey, NY

    It should be the freaking STOP BUTTON!

    June 9, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    More knee jerk reaction from the lame Administration to "look" like it's on top of things rather than spend the time looking at the other operations to see if they operating right. Still not doing a thing for the Gulf coast with this DUCKING manuever!!!

    June 9, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Dregs

    This seems to be this admins response to everything,(other than health care)" let's look at it for six months, then do something". Don't shut the drilling and our jobs down while politicians who know nothing about the oil field say "duh, which way do we go" for six months.

    June 9, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Maybe this oil spill will get the attention our planet deserves. PROTECT THE PLANET AND STOP DESTROYING IT.

    June 9, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Susan

    How could t hey not stop deep water drilling until they make sure there isn't going to be another "accident". It's become clear that BP was negiligent and the mining authority was lax in enforcing the rules (thanks to deregulation by Bush and Clinton).

    The mining agency needs to be shaken up and re-staffed with people to don't have any ties to the oil industry. AFter they've inspected all the drilling sites and they pass, then, maybe, drilling can resume.

    Otherwise, we're just asking for another environmental disaster.

    June 9, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Charlotte

    Domestic drilling will only provide a miniscule fraction of the oil that we currently wallow in on a daily basis. Far FAR greater reduction in imports can be had by conservation, new fuel-efficient technologies, enforcing efficiency standards and getting us the **** off of fossil fuels for most of our energy needs. Unfortunately, most politicians – rethug AND dem – are either in the pockets of, or are afraid of, the oil and coal companies. They all need to grow a backbone, grow a pair, and get their heads out of the sand.

    June 9, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Translation – this is being done to appease the critics. Then it's back to business as usual and the incestuous sleazy relationship between Big Oil and the government.

    Gee who knew Lisa Murz-greedy-ski of Alaska writes legislation directly on behalf of the Big Oil Lobbyists. What is this...a 3rd world banana republic?

    June 9, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. David in Galveston

    Bedtime for Obonzo & Get A Grip,

    You are a couple of idiots. 10,000 Oil field workers? How about showing a little concern for the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of folks who's livelyhoods depend on the Gulf's ecosystem and will be forever ruined by this environmental disaster.

    I hear BP is hiring another wave of corporate lobbyists...

    You two dimwits should consider applying.

    June 9, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Katie B in NC

    The administration is going to get criticized either way. Better to do what is *right* rather than worrying about what is popular.

    June 9, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Kathy

    We actually need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by drilling off shore???? Oil companies have been saying for years that more and more drilling will reduce our dependence. Bull.

    We export most of our oil. It won't help the U.S. if we continue to drill offshore, it will only help the oil companies bottom line.

    About 40 years ago, solar energy was proposed and still is, along with wind energy and other cost effective energy that will derail our dependence on imported oil.

    June 9, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Phil Muse

    Why not a STOP button? Good grief, what does it take to wake us up and get us working on a clean energy policy for all the future? We Americans are notorious amnesiacs on a lot of issues, but not THIS ONE. We won't forget Deepwater Horizon, and we will vote out proponents of drill-drill-drill every chance we get!

    June 9, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. David

    Time for the oil companies to step up and invest some of their 100's of billions of dollars in annual profits on sustainable, environmental friendly alternatives, and not the Pickens natural gas only option (he is as corrupt as the rest of them). You may not get the 10% margins you see in oil but a profit will be there. If these companies won't step up to the plate the feds should give interest free loans to private companies with strong plans for energy alternatives that gives jobs to the masses.

    June 9, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    The morons who follow fox will believe anything their celebrities tell them. The sky is falling comes to mind. The reality is that off shore drilling has destroyed the Gulf. Not that maybe it will, it has. But facts mean nothing to this bunch of whimpy jelli-fish. When Obama took office we were lossing 750,000 jobs a month! Our economy was heading to the second Great Depression!
    So you simple little clowns can scoff at 441,000 jobs, if you do you are an idiot! We need jobs no matter what! Better than paying welfare don't you think???
    This war on America and our President by the right wing fascists needs to stop.

    June 9, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Annie, Atlanta

    According to news reports over the last week oil companies have spent the money to drill deeper offshore than ever before, without any money spent on what to do in case of a catastrophic failure at these depths, as we are seeing now. Personally, until the two technologies catch up with each other, I don't see how we can risk deep water drilling. But that's just me.

    June 9, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Pragmatic

    We don't know what caused the explosion (greed? incompetence? lax regulations?) or how to stop it or what the total clean-up will involve ... 6 months is not a life-time: we all need to pause, catch our breath rather than blindly chanting "drill, baby drill" ... if you want to continue – then move your posterior out there into the marshes and on the beaches and start the clean-up ... or is that too "dirty" for oil executives and company hacks ...

    June 9, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Steve- Illinois

    Yeah right!!! First it's a stop button, then pressure from the pols and Obama folds! No different than his sudden barrage of trips to the gulf! When the noise is he's not involved enough, it's 3 trips in 3 weeks, when the noise is he's not angry enough, it's "finding out who's ass to kick!" Now that the noise was over the moratorium, suddenly it's ok in water under 1000 feet! Obama goes whichever way the wind blows!
    What we need is a leader! What we have is a perpetual campaigner that doesn't have a clue how to govern! No surprise since he hasn't actually had to run anything in his life except a campaign!

    June 9, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. marcus (seattle)

    there are some people whose agenda would not change even if 100 million barrels of oil washed up on our shores. does it really mean anything to the sane portion of our population that those people exist ? i'd like a new regulation written that says every ounce of oil that pollutes our land or water, they have to pay to gather up, and then they are required to pour it onto their own homes.

    June 9, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    When the U.S. is finished cleaning up this mess in Louisiana maybe we can cleanup the mess big oil companies created and left behind in foreign countries. That's the dirty little secret nobody wants to talk about but now it's hit home.

    June 9, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. Rick

    You can't have it both ways people. I am glad to see this stop on permits for the oil companies. On one hand you want the mess cleaned up on the other hand you say don't punish the oil companies. Thank you George Bush and Dick Cheney for causing the biggest mess in US history, not counting the 2 wars you started . And all this started behind closed doors and secret meetings.

    June 9, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  23. W L jones

    Look like all road into the: GULF: stop at the key board when it come to volunteer and help clean up the oil spill. It is we you but not me when it come durn something to help our country in time of a major crisis. Sad but true.

    June 9, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. thor

    This adminnistration wants to take us down the road to nuclear power without telling us what they are going to all the nuclear waste created.That is why we haven't gone in that direction already.

    June 9, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. ib

    This wouldn't have happened if people would stand up to the tree huggers and insist that we drill on land instead of the ocean. we must have the oil until the alternative energy products are available which I'm all for. We must have controlls on oil drilling but they must be reasonable controlls and we must be allowed to drill on land. We should stop the controll of tree huggers amd get reasonable laws on our energy.

    June 9, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
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