Former Land Managers: Onshore Safety Too

Former land managers asking for reforms on onshore drilling safety issued.
Former land managers asking for reforms on onshore drilling safety issued.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has led to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announcing there will be reforms on how leases are granted offshore. Meanwhile, 60 former land managers have sent him a letter about onshore drilling – asking for finalization of reforms he announced in January.

Gloria Flora used to be the supervisor of the largest national forest in the Lower 48, where she dealt with what she saw as the destruction of natural resources. Flora has signed on to the letter because she claims accidents happen almost everywhere there is production, with Wyoming seeing more issues than many states in recent years.

Another land manager, Mike Dombeck, used to be the boss at the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. He has also signed the letter, and his point is restoration of balance in all uses of public lands, instead of making development a priority.

Oil and gas companies say they take safety seriously, and accuse environmental groups of taking advantage of the Gulf accident to try to ban all domestic production.

The letter to Secretary Salazar does not call for a halt in drilling, it calls for a middle ground that allows development to continue, but to be more tightly monitored.

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