Editorial: Ken Salazar's new deal at Interior
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s first major decision — to cancel oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of public land in Utah — could not have sent a clearer signal that his department is under new management. It also was a strong indication that the Obama administration intends to take a more measured approach to energy exploration on the public lands and that its predecessor’s drill-now, drill-anywhere policies are a thing of the past.

The decision reverses a Bush administration move last fall to allow drilling on more than 100,000 acres near Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and other fragile open spaces. Mr. Salazar said the leases had not received proper environmental review. It seems unlikely that they will be renewed.

Mr. Salazar also made it clear that the decision was merely a preamble to a broader review of the nation’s energy policies. Although interior secretaries have historically been charged with helping the nation meet its oil and gas needs, Mr. Salazar promised to seek a better balance between commercial use and preservation on the many millions of acres his department manages."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Ken Salazar’s New Deal (The New York Times 2/6)

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