Secretary Salazar Announces Delays in Oil Shale Research and Development, Driving Investment Overseas and Costing U.S. Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 25, 2009 - House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings released the following statement today regarding plans by the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to cancel a proposed plan for expanded oil shale RD&D leases:

“This is the third announcement this month from the Department of Interior regarding delays in American energy development.  From withdrawing land leases in Utah, to halting offshore drilling and now oil shale, Secretary Salazar is walking away from utilizing American’s energy resources to become less dependent on foreign countries.  When the Interior Department says no to American-made energy, they are saying no to creating new American jobs.

“Following these announcements, companies that might have considered investing billions of their own dollars in research and development here in America, creating high-paying jobs in the process, may now look to invest their money overseas.  We have more shale in oil than Saudi Arabia has oil, we have an economy in recession, and we have a law directing oil shale development – these delays are unnecessary and costly.”

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Contact: Jill Strait (202) 226-2311