Norton, Kempthorne defend OCS decisions in House hearing

08/02/2010
Two former US Interior secretaries firmly refused to accept some US House members' efforts to second-guess the DOI officials' offshore oil and gas decisions in light of the Apr. 20 Gulf of Mexico deepwater well blowout, rig explosion, and oil spill.The decisions were based on the best available information at the time, they told two House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittees on July 21.Gale A. Norton, who led the department from 2001 to 2006, and Dirk A. Kempthorne, who led DOI from 2006 to early 2009, also disagreed with current Interior Sec. Ken Salazar's deepwater drilling moratorium. But they otherwise backed his response and actions following the accident at BP PLC's Macondo w...
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