"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says in a report to be delivered to the White House on Thursday that he will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011. Shell Oil is poised to begin exploratory drilling this summer on leases as far as 140 miles offshore.
An administration official familiar with the plan said Salazar wants to allow further study of proposed drilling technology and oil spill response capabilities in Arctic waters. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan is not yet public.
Salazar has said he wants to take a cautious approach in the Arctic.
President Barack Obama ordered Salazar to conduct a review of the nation's offshore oil drilling safety after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last month."