World of oil & gas ///

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was confirmed 62-37 by the U.S. Senate as Energy Secretary on March 2. Ten Democrats voted for Perry, including coal advocate, Sen. Joe Manchin (W. Va.). Commented Sen. John Cornyn (R–Texas), “…thanks to [Perry’s] commonsense approach to regulation and support for thoughtful innovation, Texas became a state where all energy producers could thrive. Under Secretary Perry’s guidance, I have no doubt the [DOE] will pursue an all-of-the-above strategy that will lead to the next great era of American energy.” Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ryan Zinke, 68–31, as Interior Secretary. The Interior Department correspondingly has expressed plans to prioritize U.S. energy development. The Interior Department has already begun undoing rules that restricted leasing and exploration activity in more than 100 million acres of the U.S. Arctic, as well as potential resources in the Atlantic Ocean. IPAA President Barry Russell said, “While often pitted against each other over the last eight years, these efforts to support the economy and protect our environment work hand-in-hand every day across the country.” Zinke said the department will offer 73 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, for exploration and development. The proposed lease sale is for Aug. 16, 2017, and will reportedly include all available unleased areas in the federal Gulf of Mexico.

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