Obama Backs More Alaska Oil Drilling

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"President says, 'Let's take a look at what's up there and see what we can develop,' but any Arctic oil development must be done carefully."

Anchorage Daily News, Sean Cockerham

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar came to Anchorage on Monday and said the Obama administration supports more oil drilling in Alaska, potentially including offshore Arctic development. But any Arctic oil development must be done carefully, he said. Salazar said the Arctic lacks needed infrastructure for responding to potential offshore oil spills.

"Not the mightiest companies with multibillion-dollar pockets were able to do what needed to be done in a timely basis, and the representations of preparation simply turned out not to be true from the oil companies that had a legal obligation to shut down that kind of an oil spill. . .," Salazar told Alaska reporters. "When you look at the Arctic itself, we recognize that there are different realities—the ocean is a much shallower ocean, conditions are very different than we had in the Gulf of Mexico. (But) there are challenges that are unique to the Arctic". . .View full article

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