Gingrich-backed group slams Interior drilling plans

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.

Salazar did not discuss what areas could be offered for lease in the proposal, but the time frame he discussed is sure to disappoint industry groups that supported an aggressive Bush-era proposal.

The Bush administration, on its way out the door, issued a draft 2010-2015 plan that would allow leasing along large areas of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, among other expansions.