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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989 - March

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Establishment of the Outer Continental Shelf Leasing and Development Task Force


The President announced today the establishment of the Outer Continental Shelf Leasing and Development Task Force.

In accordance with his address to the joint session of Congress on February 9, 1989, he has directed the establishment of the task force to examine in detail the concerns over adverse impacts of lease sales in three environmentally sensitive areas:

1. Lease sale 91 off the coast of northern California;

2. Lease sale 95 off the coast of southern California; and

3. Lease sale 116 off southern Florida, south of 26 degrees north latitude.

The President feels that oil and gas development of America's offshore areas is necessary to ensure a reliable supply of energy and provide for the Nation's economic and national security. He is committed to continued Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas development in an environmentally sound manner.

The task force will consist of the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Energy, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or their designees. The National Academy of Sciences will provide the task force with the necessary scientific and technical analysis. The Secretary of the Interior will serve as Chairman of the task force, which should report its findings to the President by January 1, 1990.

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