Sally Jewell News

16 May 2018

Huntington Ingalls Industries Authenticates Keel of Submarine Montana

Jacob McNulty (far right) displays the keel authentication plate he welded at today’s ceremony. Also present for the ceremony were (left to right) Cmdr. Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit Montana; Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation; former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin. Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries’  Newport News Shipbuilding division has authenticated the keel of the 21st Virginia-class submarine, Montana (SSN 794). “This is an important day for us,” said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. In keeping with a U.S. Navy tradition, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor, chalked her initials onto a steel plate. Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, performed a Native American blessing.

18 Nov 2016

Obama Administration Bars New Oil, Gas Exploration off Alaska

A drilling ship Polar Pioneer in the Chukchi Sea, August 2015 (Photo: Mark Fink / Shell)

The Obama administration on Friday blocked new exploration for oil and gas in Arctic waters, in a win for environmental groups that had fought development of the ecologically fragile region. The Department of the Interior released a 2017 to 2022 leasing plan that blocked drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off northern Alaska. It also limited petroleum development in the Cook Inlet off south-central Alaska. Environmental activists have battled drilling in Alaska to protect whales, walruses and seals, and as part of a broader movement to keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground.

09 Sep 2016

Plan Introduced to Drive US Offshore Wind Energy

Photo: U.S. Dept. of Energy

A new collaborative strategic plan has been published today which aims to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States. Announced by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the plan, entitled National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, details the current state of offshore wind in the U.S., presents the actions and innovations…

12 Aug 2016

Lease Sale Proposed for Wind Energy Off North Carolina

A new lease sale has been proposed for 122,405 acres for commercial wind energy leasing offshore North Carolina. The proposed lease, announced today by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, is for the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area, which BOEM identified in consultation with its North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force and outreach with stakeholders. “This is an important and exciting milestone in our ongoing efforts to tap the vast wind energy resources along the Atlantic Coast,” said Secretary Jewell.

14 Apr 2016

Six Years after BP Spill, US Sets New Offshore Oil Safety Rules

Gas from the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead is burned by the drillship Discoverer Enterprise in May 2010, in a process known as flaring. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Patrick Kelley)

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled new oil well control rules to prevent the kind of blowout that happened six years ago on a BP Plc rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced the finalized regulations, which include more stringent design requirements and operational procedures for offshore U.S. oil and gas operations. The new standards come nearly six years after a deadly explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the cost of Louisiana, which led to the worst oil spill of all time.

13 Apr 2016

Obama to Issue New Offshore Drilling Rules

(White House photo)

The Obama administration will announce Thursday safety regulations for offshore oil and natural gas drilling to prevent the kind of explosion that happened six years ago on a BP rig in the Gulf of Mexico, an official told Reuters. The Department of Interior will unveil the final version of its well control regulations, which will require more stringent design and operating procedures for well control equipment used in offshore oil and gas operations, said the official, who is close to the rulemaking process.

11 Nov 2015

NJ Offshore Wind Lease Sale Moves Ahead

Offshore Wind Photo TKPL

As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) yesterday held the nation’s fifth competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters, which offered nearly 344,000 acres offshore New Jersey for potential wind energy development. The provisional winners of today’s lease sale are RES America Developments Inc.…

20 Oct 2015

Arctic Oil Drilling: Why Does U.S. End It?

Image: An oil drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska in 2013. Credit: Panda.Org

The Obama administration has taken steps to keep drill rigs out of Alaska's northern ocean for a decade or more. The sudden of turnabouts is attributed to slowing down of economy. The U.S. Department of Interior announced that it is canceling two lease sales and will not extend current leases for companies interested in drilling in the Arctic waters off the Alaska coat. "The federal government is cancelling federal petroleum lease sales in US Arctic waters that were scheduled for 2016 and 2017," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

17 Oct 2015

U.S. Cancels Arctic Offshore lease Sale

Secretary Sally Jewell Photo Tami Heilemann Courtesy US Dept of the Interior

The U.S. Interior Department on Friday said it would cancel two potential Arctic offshore lease sales after Royal Dutch Shell PLC said that it was not interested in those leases. "In light of Shell's announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement. Shell said last month it was giving up its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude oil.

24 Sep 2015

US to Sell Offshore Leases for New Jersey Wind Farms

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to develop domestic clean energy resources, cut carbon pollution and create American jobs, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced that 343,833 acres offshore New Jersey will be offered for commercial wind energy development in a competitive lease sale on November 9, 2015. If fully developed, the New Jersey Wind Energy Area could support at least 3,400 megawatts of commercial wind generation, enough to power an estimated 1.2 million homes, according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

14 Aug 2015

Nearly $140m Proposed for GoM Restoration Work

Image: Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell Thursday commended the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council for issuing its initial list of proposed projects for natural resource restoration for Gulf Coast communities in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The RESTORE Council proposed using approximately $139.6 million from the recent settlement with Transocean Deepwater, Inc. to support restoration projects in key regional watersheds. Interior’s role in these projects is primarily focused on resiliency building efforts across the Gulf Coast.

28 Jun 2015

Shell's Arctic Drilling a Threat for Pacific Walrus

Pacific Walrus

A number of environmental groups are asking the Department of the Interior to rescind permission Shell has been granted to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic this summer because the company's plan would not protect the walrus. Shell's plan would violate federal rules limiting how closely a company can drill multiple wells, Earthjustice argued in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, sent on behalf of 10 other groups. The rules, issued in 2013 by the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Marine Mammal Protection Act…

23 Jun 2015

Environmentalists: Walrus Population at Risk in Arctic

Green groups urged the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency's conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell's 2015 Arctic oil exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established protections for walruses. A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau of the Interior Department, prevents energy companies from exploring for oil simultaneously at wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska that are within 15 miles (24 km) of each other. The rule is meant to protect walrus populations that are sensitive to the noise and disruption of drilling in their habitat. But Shell's exploration plan for the Chukchi…

23 May 2015

U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling

The Arctic is estimated to hold the world's largest remaining untapped gas reserves  Photo WWF

A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic, saying the region has a severely limited capacity to respond to accidents. The senators, from both coasts and several Midwestern states, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to retire Arctic leases in the Chukchi Sea. Jewell's department earlier this month conditionally approved Shell's exploration plan in the Arctic.

13 Apr 2015

US Well Control Regulations Proposed

BSEE Director Brian Salerno

U.S. In response to the findings of investigations into the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, and following a thorough evaluation of recommendations from industry groups, equipment manufacturers, federal agencies, academia and environmental organizations, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced proposed regulations to better protect human lives and the environment from oil spills. The measures include more stringent design requirements and operational procedures for critical well control equipment used in offshore oil and gas operations.

31 Mar 2015

U.S. DoI Upholds 2008 Shell Arctic Lease

              Researchers working on the Chukchi Sea in 2010 (photo courtesy of NASA/Kathryn Hansen)

The U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, moving Royal Dutch Shell a step closer to returning to oil and gas exploration in the Arctic since it suffered mishaps in the region in 2012. "The Arctic is an important component of the Administration's national energy strategy, and we remain committed to taking a thoughtful and balanced approach to oil and gas leasing and exploration offshore Alaska," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

25 Mar 2015

Seattle Fears Arctic drilling, Shell Moves Rigs

How we operate in the Arctic: Shell Global

Shell Oil Co is poised to restart oil drilling in the Arctic in the near future once it receives the go-ahead from the U.S. government, which could happen soon. The decision to allow the oil company access has been controversial among environmentalists groups as well as local communities that could be affected by the drilling. Seattle city leaders are fighting to keep Arctic oil drilling equipment out of the Puget Sound as the Shell works on a deal to store the equipment with the Port of Seattle near the mouth of the Duwamish River.

13 Feb 2015

DOI Issues FSEIS for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193, moving the DOI a step closer to resolving federal court concerns regarding the 2008 oil and gas leases offshore Alaska. The FSEIS updates the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) estimates of the full range of production levels from offshore oil fields that might be developed in the Chukchi Sea as well as the related potential environmental effects of the lease sale. “Alaska is a critical component of our nation’s energy portfolio, and the Chukchi Sea has substantial oil and gas potential, as well as sensitive marine and coastal resources that Alaska Native communities depend on for subsistence,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

17 Mar 2015

US to Hold Offshore O&G Lease Sale

Photo: Alex Sergienko

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will travel to New Orleans on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 to attend and open bids at an oil and gas lease sale offering 41.2 million acres for exploration and development in the Central Planning Area offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The results of the sale will be announced later in the morning during a media teleconference with Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper and Regional Director John Rodi.

18 Mar 2015

Dept. of the Interior Raises $539M in Gulf Lease Sale

   Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior (Dept. of the Interior photo by Tami Heilemann)

The U.S. Department of the Interior sold leases on oil and gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico today, receiving $538.7 million in high bids. The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) took bids for 169 tracts on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the Bureau announced in a press release. 42 offshore energy companies submitted a total of 195 bids totaling $583 million, meaning most of the tracts had just one bidder.

23 Mar 2015

Shell to Get Permission to Drill in the Arctic

Arctic exploration and production: Shell in the Arctic

The US government is expected this week to give the go-ahead to a controversial plan by Shell Oil Company, one of the largest oil companies in the world to restart drilling for oil in the Arctic. The UPI reports that the decision rests on the U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who is expected to announce the decision on Wednesday. The green light from Sally Jewell, the interior secretary, will spark protests from environmentalists who have campaigned against proposed exploration by Shell.

26 Jan 2015

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Hopper today announced the release of an Environmental Assessment (EA) supporting a potential lease sale for more than 300,000 acres of federal waters off the coast of North Carolina for wind energy development. “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change…

27 Jan 2015

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast. The 2017 to 2022 drilling plan begins a process that could take many years before waters off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia are cleared for drilling. It expands on the last five-year plan initially issued in 2010 that allowed drilling off Virginia. The administration canceled a lease sale there after BP Plc's deadly explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that year. The plan includes a potential lease sale in the Atlantic around 2021 but it could be withdrawn if scientists discover that the area is too fragile.

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