February 5, 2009

Interior Secretary Salazar cancels Utah energy leases

By Interior Secretary Salazar cancels Utah energy leases

From the Los Angeles Times: "The Obama administration Wednesday canceled 77 leases its predecessor sold to oil and gas companies that wanted to explore beneath the red rock country of Utah, the first of several expected steps to reverse the Bush administration's Western legacy."

More coverage is available at the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the Miami Herald, Bloomberg, NPR, NRDC's Switchboard, and the Salt Lake Tribune, which argues that "the significance of Salazar's decision hinges on whether it proves, as it should, to be the opening salvo in a determined battle to restore balance to the federal government's management of public lands in Utah and elsewhere."

It's not really much of a surprise that the Obama administration is revisiting some of former President Bush's final decisions.  The LA Times also notes that new Endangered Species Act Section 7 regulations will be reviewed and points to Salazar's statement that "Many of those decisions were rushed."

Salazar and the rest of the Obama administration would be wise to remember that the mere timing of a regulation does not make the policy behind it unsound.

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