For Immediate Release


Bob Deans, NRDC, 202-289-2393 or

Interior's Offshore Drilling Plan Is a Good First Step That Must Go Further, Says NRDC

WASHINGTON -  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar detailed his plans today for
restructuring government oversight of offshore drilling. Regan Nelson,
senior oceans advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council, made
the following statement:

"Creating a Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is
a good first step toward strengthening the protections we need to keep
our workers and waters safe.

"The department, though, needs to go further to ensure that
safety and environmental concerns are insulated from the kind of
political pressure that has compromised this crucial mission in the
past. As planned, the new bureau would operate under the same assistant
secretary who oversees leasing duties. Instead, the safety and
environmental agency should report directly to the Secretary and be led
by a Senate-confirmed fixed-term appointee.

"That is what the independent oil spill commission
recommended last week. And that is what is needed to protect our
workers, waters and wildlife."


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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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