Offshore drilling delay
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this week shelved a Bush administration initiative to open much of the U.S. coastline to oil drilling. Salazar said the drilling plan would be suspended for a 180-day review. He did not rule out allowing some coastal drilling, but said it would have to be part of a comprehensive energy strategy. Oil industry groups criticized the administration’s “unnecessary delay.”
Postal rate hike
The U.S. Postal Service this week announced a 2-cent rise in the price of a first-class postage stamp, blaming “rising costs which are affecting homes and businesses.’’ The new 44-cent rate covers the first ounce of first-class mail; the price for each additional ounce remains at 17 cents. Forever Stamps, undenominated stamps that remain valid regardless of future rate hikes, will continue to sell for 42 cents each until the increase goes into effect on May 11.