For Immediate Release:
Contact: Erin Mooney, National Press Secretary
(703) 284-9408, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by Trout Unlimited on the Obama Administration's Announcement of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Development Strategy
President Obama and Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar announced a strategy today for balancing the development and protection of the country's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The plan is designed to strengthen the nation's energy security and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
The Administration calls for developing oil and gas resources in new areas, such as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; increasing oil and gas exploration and environmental assessment in frontier areas, such as the Arctic Ocean and the Mid- and South Atlantic Ocean; and protecting key ocean habitats, such as the west coast of the U.S. and Alaska's Bristol Bay, one of the world's largest salmon producing regions. The strategy will guide the Interior Department's current 2007-2012 offshore oil and gas leasing program, as well as the new 2012-2017 program that the department is proposing.
"TU appreciates the Obama Administration's clear concern for protecting marine habitats that are vital to sustaining our valuable salmon and steelhead fisheries on the west coast and in Alaska," said Chris Wood, TU's President and CEO.
"We expect that today's decision to spur offshore production in some areas will allow the Administration to implement long-overdue and sorely needed reforms to balance fish and wildlife habitat and hunting and angling opportunities against oil and gas development on publicly owned lands and waters," Wood said.
TU, working with many key allies, has been a leader in protecting the headwaters of Bristol Bay from the potentially devastating Pebble mine. TU views today's announcement as a good step toward conserving the entire Bristol Bay ecosystem, ensuring that the salmon life cycle is sustained, from the headwaters to the sea. However, the announcement does not fully protect the Bristol Bay watershed because it does not affect large-scale mining projects such as the proposed Pebble mine.