Washington: US Interior secretary Sally Jewell had it both ways on Tuesday, telling a Washington DC audience that the government can make available vast new areas for offshore oil and gas drilling while also promising improved safety precautions.
“As we continue to make vast areas available offshore for oil and gas – in fact, tomorrow I’m going to a lease sale offering 41 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico – safety remains our top priority,” said Jewell. “We can’t forget the lessons learned after the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.”
Jewell’s words come at a time when public meetings and protests about proposed offshore Atlantic drilling have been happening in states along the eastern seaboard.
Speaking at the Centre for Strategic & International Studies, Jewell outlined her department’s energy priorities for the upcoming two years and the role the federal government can play in shaping energy policy.
The Obama administration proposed draft rules for Arctic drilling last month, and the Interior Department must still sign off on Shell’s plans in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
UK-born Jewell was a petroleum engineer, a banker and a ceo of a publicly held company earlier in her career.