Gingrich-backed group slams Interior drilling plans

By Ben Geman
The Hill

American Solutions, the advocacy group led by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, on Wednesday slammed the Interior Department over the agency’s plan to wait until 2012 before a new offshore drilling plan takes effect.

The group, on its website, said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar “dropped a bomb on American energy independence, economic recovery, and public opinion,” when he previewed his plans this afternoon.

Pro-drilling groups want faster action from the Obama administration, which has signaled that it’s open to at least some expansion of offshore development beyond areas where it’s already permitted.

Salazar plans to announce his long-awaited offshore drilling policy as soon as this month. He told reporters Wednesday that Interior’s next five-year offshore leasing plan will run from 2012-2017, rather than upending the current 2007-2012 program.

The article continues at The Hill.

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