As manager of roughly a fifth of the nation’s land and much of its natural resources, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell says she tries to balance competing interests “in a smart way.”
Though President Barack Obama has embraced renewable energy and is attempting to curb carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, his administration has also allowed new oil rigs in the Arctic Ocean and has proposed new oil leases off the Atlantic coast. The Bureau of Land Management also has plans for more coal leases in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
“We can’t switch to renewables overnight,” Jewell said Friday at a news conference in La Crosse. “We’ve all burned fossil fuels today. … We’re not in a position any time soon to turn off fossil fuels and to be dependent on renewable energy.”
Jewell said she has sought to bring “the best science” to deciding which lands are suitable for gas and oil development.
“An important part of our mission is managing our public lands and waters over the long term, and that means balancing places that are too special to develop, for a variety of reasons, and looking at our landscapes holistically and understanding that, while also supporting economic activity on our public lands that reduce dependence on foreign oil,” she said. “Thoughtful development of our energy resources domestically does help provide jobs domestically and it reduces our dependence on oil that’s coming from areas that are full of conflict.”
This article was written by Chris Hubbuch from La Crosse Tribune, Wis. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.