ken_salazarWe have always known that the oil industry and the Republican Party make close bedfellows, but now Obama’s Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, has launched a stinging attack on the oil industry saying it was acting “like an arm” of the Republicans.

He lambasted the industry for issuing “untruths” about the Obama Administration’s oil and gas lease programme for 2010, which includes 38 lease sales and which Salazar defended as being “robust.”

“You wouldn’t know it if you listened to the untruths coming out” of industry groups, Salazar said. “Trade groups for the oil and gas industry repeatedly launch attacks that have all the poison and assumptions of election-year politics.”

Salazar’s verbal assault was aimed at groups like the American Petroleum Institute, which has whinged that the Obama administration has rescinded 77,000 acres of lease sales signed by Bush in his dying days as President.

“Trade groups need to understand that they do not own the nation’s public lands. Taxpayers do,” Salazar said.

Yesterday, API President Jack “I’m always moaning” Gerard said that “more can be done to expand the economy and create new jobs,” by the Obama Administration.

“We want to be part of the solution and a constructive partner in a comprehensive energy policy that could create over a hundred thousand new jobs, and we are ready to meet with Secretary Salazar to help advance our shared objectives,” Gerard said.

But Gerard will stop moaning when he finds out that one of the proposed lease sales next August will offer tracts in part of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, an area west of Prudhoe Bay.

Kate Zimmerman, senior policy specialist for the National Wildlife Federation, said that, despite their whinging, oil and gas companies have millions of acres under lease that they are not developing.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for the API has hit back saying “We don’t know why the secretary made those comments”.

Well we do, because issuing “untruths” is part and parcel of your business, whether its lease sales or climate change…