Watt reported adamant on offshore oil leases
Washington — Interior Secretary James Watt won't budge from a pledge to offer 1 billion acres of federal land for offshore oil leasing by 1986, despite reports he was ready to do so. Douglas Baldwin, the department's director of public affairs, said Mr. Watt's plan to offer 200 million acres a year for lease "has not changed one iota."
Earlier, an agency spokesman said Watt would probably issue a modified leasing plan offering substantially less land, partly because of opposition from the oil and gas industry. Although public comments on th e Watt proposal for the vast tract's being slated for leasing were overwhelming critical, Mr. Baldwin explicitly denied it was being watered down.