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Statement on Interior Secretary Nominee Ken Salazar

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Statement on Interior Secretary Nominee Ken Salazar

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Statement on Interior Secretary Nominee Ken Salazar 

 

Washington,
D.C., January 14, 2009— Senator
Ken Salazar’s (D-CO) record on energy and environment issues is being called
into question, prior to his Thursday confirmation hearing.

 

Statement by Jonathan Tolman, CEI Senior Fellow in Risk and
Environmental Policy:  

 

President-elect Obama’s choice for
Secretary of Interior, while generally lauded by most environmental groups
appears to have a more moderate side when it comes to some energy and
environmental issues.  Senator Ken Salazar
(D-CO), is a 5th generation rancher from the San
Luis Valley
in southern Colorado
with strong ties to the ranching and agriculture community.  And while the League of Conservation Voters
has given him a score of 82, he has parted with the environmental left on a
number of issues.  For example he was
among a handful of democratic senators to receive a 0 score fro the Humane
Society.

 

In addition, in the Senate he voted
against increasing fuel efficiency standards for the U.S.
automobile fleet and voted to allow offshore drilling along the Florida coast.  He also praised the Bush administration for
lifting the ban on offshore drilling.

 

And while Attorney General for Colorado, Salazar threatened
to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service that if they listed the black-tailed
prairie dog under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) he would sue them.  He's no Gale Norton, the last Colorado
Attorney General to become Interior Secretary, but if the Center for Biological
Diversity doesn't like him, he can't be all that bad.  In fact given his background in ranching, and
his previous positions on endangered species, he might be the best hope to
bring some badly needed common sense reforms to the ESA.