Salazar open to discussing ANWR development
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he is open to discussing whether a certain type of development can be utilized to drill oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of Alaska.

But Salazar isn't convinced that directional drilling is the solution. He said President Barack Obama is committed to protecting ANWR.

"The question of whether or not you can do directional drilling without impairing the ecological values of ANWR is an open question. Most of what I've seen up to this point is it would not be possible to do that," Salazar said in a media conference call, the Associated Press reported.

Inupiat Eskimos who live in ANWR and own land there support development. But the Gwich'in Nation, whose members live next to ANWR, says drilling will harm the caribou and the environment.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has introduced S.503, a bill to authorize directional drilling in ANWR.

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Salazar defends higher oil royalties, taxes (AP 3/16)