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Following the devastating 2010 midterm elections for Congress and statehouses, it is very likely that City Hall will produce the next crop of national Democratic leaders after Obama.

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Energy production banned in half of petroleum reserve

Decision to curtail energy development was signed today by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The Obama administration on Thursday finalized plans to lock up from energy production half of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska ‚?? a tract of land the size of Indiana set aside by Congress 90 years ago to assure a domestic supply of oil.

Of the 23 million acres in reserve on Alaska‚??s north slope, energy production will be allowed on an nearly 12 million acres believed to hold 549 million barrels of oil ‚?? a small percentage of what the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the entire reserve holds — nearly three billion barrels of recoverable oil.

The decision to significantly curtail energy development in the reserve was signed today by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and comes as gasoline prices continue to increase for the 34th day in a row.

‚??Only in President Obama‚??s backwards worldview of anti-energy policies does it make sense to prohibit energy production in a place specifically set aside for energy production at a time when gasoline prices are skyrocketing and federal oil and natural gas production is declining,‚?Ě said Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Salazar‚??s plan will allow pipeline access through the reserve to carry oil drilled offshore in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

However, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) said the approved routes do not look economically feasible to connect offshore drilling to the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline.

‚??The Department of Interior has once again caved to environmental special interest groups, and unfortunately today‚??s finalized plan will do nothing but further restrict potential oil and gas development in a petroleum reserve established to ensure America‚??s energy security,‚?Ě Young said.

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Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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