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GEST Statement on the Resignation of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Lori LeBlanc, Executive Director of the Gulf Economic Survival Team, issued the following statement regarding the resignation of U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar:

We thank Secretary Salazar for his efforts on behalf of his country and wish him the best in his new pursuits.  The Secretary’s tenure encompassed substantial challenges and promise in regard to America’s energy future.

The Secretary was in office during the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and presided over the dark days of the moratorium on Gulf operations that needlessly brought Gulf workers and their communities to their knees.  He also oversaw a prolonged period of reform of the offshore regulatory regime, an effort that remains ongoing even today.  The Secretary also led President Obama’s “All of the Above” energy strategy, meant to harness the strengths of traditional fuel sources while developing next generation sources.   Indeed, between onshore energy discoveries and the potential of offshore output, the U.S. is closer than ever before to realizing energy independence.

To take us further down that road, the next Secretary must focus on realizing the potential of the Gulf, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of domestic oil production yet often suffers from regulatory uncertainty.  The Gulf’s prospects ultimately depend on the Interior Department’s ability to finish the offshore reform process and implement clear regulations that encourage safe, responsible and efficient energy production.  To do anything less will make it that much harder to realize America’s promising energy future.