Interior Secretary Says White House Opposes Drilling in Arctic Because It Will Not Lead to Energy Independence

By Nicholas Ballasy | March 4, 2011 | 3:28 PM EST

( - When asked why the Obama administration opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) given the rising cost of gasoline, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told that the “drill, baby, drill program” is not going to lead the United States to energy independence. asked Salazar, “Given the rising cost of gasoline why is the administration opposed to drilling in the arctic refuge?”

U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

“We don’t believe that you need to drill everywhere and we don’t believe that the 'drill, baby, drill' program is the way that’s going to get us to the energy independence that we need for America or that will power our economy and that’s why the President has been so clear from day one and we in the Department of Interior have been so clear that what we need to do is need to have a robust energy program that includes a number of different sources of energy and while yes, we are pushing forward with oil and gas development both offshore and onshore which was the subject of much of the hearing today, we’re also moving forward with renewable energy,” he told after testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee about his Department’s FY2012 budget.

“The President has said we are supporting nuclear, we’re support other clean air energy forms and at the end of the day, this is a place where there is hope that perhaps some of the Republicans in the House would come together and say that we can move forward with energy legislation that moves us into this new energy future.”

Salazar was also asked what the White House is saying about drilling in the Gulf.

“What I say is what the White House would say and that is that we are moving forward with an effort to stand up oil and gas drilling in the deep oceans of the gulf and are doing it in a safe and orderly way and that’s reflected in the budget request that we were defending for the President today,” he said.