Salazar fires back at oil industry 'untruths'


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar lashed out at the oil and gas industry Tuesday, accusing some industry trade groups of acting like an arm of the Republican Party in criticizing the Obama administration's record on energy production.

Salazar made the comments as he announced 38 lease sales scheduled next year on public lands, mostly in Western states. Salazar called the lease sales a sign that the administration was moving forward with a comprehensive energy strategy that includes oil, gas and renewable energy, despite what he said were false claims that the Democratic administration was hindering domestic energy development.

…"Trade groups need to understand that they do not own the nation's public lands. Taxpayers do," Salazar said.

…Salazar defended the administration's record, saying 32 onshore lease sales have been held this year, offering more than 2.7 million acres in the West and generating more than $126 million in revenue.