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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

April 2, 2009

Contact: Kristina Johnson

Interior Department Releases Report on Offshore Energy
Study Shows Strong Offshore Wind Potential


Washington, D.C. - Today, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service released a new report outlining offshore energy resources, including oil, as well as renewable energy such as wind and wave power.

The report will serve as a starting point for a series of public hearings on offshore drilling that will be held around the country in coming weeks. For more information on the report and the hearings, go to:

Statement of Sierra Club Lands Director Athan Manuel:

Interior Secretary Salazar has said he's committed to developing clean energy off our coasts, not just oil drilling. This report shows that the Interior Department is serious about investigating the potential for clean energy sources like offshore wind. As Secretary Salazar pointed out, America's offshore wind energy potential exceeds our nation's entire demand for electricity. It's encouraging to see the administration actively pursuing the kind of clean offshore energy that will help end our dependence on oil.

While the report recognizes the impacts of offshore drilling and exploration on marine life like whales and turtles, as well as on coastal economies, the federal government needs to explore these issues in more depth before following through with any offshore drilling plan. The threat of drilling to coastal tourism and fishing economies and to marine life should not be underestimated.

Americans will have a chance to weigh in on the administration's offshore energy plans at a series of public hearings starting next week. These hearings will give citizens a chance to send a clear message that Americans want clean energy and the jobs that come with it, not more risky offshore drilling.

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