Salazar schedules four regional public meetings on OCS during April

Four regional public meetings will be held during April to discuss US Outer Continental Shelf energy resources and their potential development impacts, US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced on March 11.

The meetings are scheduled for April 6 in Atlantic City, NJ; April 8 in New Orleans; April 14 in Anchorage, and April 16 in San Francisco. Salazar originally announced on Feb. 10 that they would be held as part of his strategy to develop a more comprehensive five-year OCS plan which would include renewable and alternative resources and more fully consider environmental and other consequences.

He also said at the time that the public comment period on the current proposed five-year OCS plan would be extended by six months and that a rulemaking on renewable energy on the OCS ordered under the 2005 Energy Policy Act would be expedited.

The meetings also will present findings on conventional and renewable OCS energy resources which the secretary ordered US Department of the Interior agencies to prepare by March 30. "The purpose of these meetings is to have an open, honest conversation with the American people to solicit the best possible information about an offshore energy plan," Salazar said on March 11.

Regional governors and elected federal officials, local governments, private citizens, interested organizations, entities, energy producers and advocacy groups are invited to attend and briefly comment or ask questions following a presentation of the offshore energy resources report, he said.

Persons unable to attend in person can submit written statements, comments or document either at the meeting or during the extended comment period, DOI officials said. Written comments can be submitted either online at www.mms.gov or by mail to Renee Orr, Leasing Division, US Minerals Management Service, MS 4010, 318 Elden Street, Herndon, Va. 20170-4817.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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