The Interior plan also scuttles planned lease sales off Alaska’s northern coast to allow further study, and excludes Alaska’s Bristol Bay from leasing as well.
“I commend Secretary Salazar for proposing a plan that makes available for leasing much of the potential offshore oil and gas resources that the Federal government owns. I also commend him for indicating that additional studies will be undertaken before making a final decision on leasing in areas that might be environmentally sensitive,” Bingaman said in a prepared statement.
“Secretary Salazar's proposed plan is generally consistent with the legislative proposals regarding our offshore national oil and gas resources that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee reported last summer. I hope that the Senate will address these legislative proposals in the coming weeks,” he added.
Bingaman’s House counterpart – Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) – also backs the Obama administration plans.