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Secretary of the Interior
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Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Secretary of the Interior on 12/17/2008 09:47:11 MST Print View

What's the story on this guy? Hopes? Concerns?

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/17/2008 18:19:49 MST Print View

The end of this article would seem to shed a little light:

"Buccino and Baird voiced confidence that the Obama administration would not let such [Utah National Parks oil & gas] sales go forward, and Redford praised the new president's nomination Wednesday of Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar as the next interior secretary.

"I think Salazar has already sent signals about how he feels about this, and he comes from a ranching family, so he understands the value of land," the actor said."

Edited by blister-free on 12/17/2008 18:20:48 MST.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/17/2008 18:57:29 MST Print View

Like Obama, he's a compromiser trying to balance competing interests. I think he'll be fine.

Edited by Dondo on 12/17/2008 19:17:07 MST.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/17/2008 19:39:38 MST Print View

Given the cowboy hat I'm guessing we won't be seeing any grazing reforms.

Just sayin'

He seems to have some decent quals, however.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/17/2008 21:03:16 MST Print View

Yeah, Rick. He comes from a family that's been ranching in the San Luis valley for generations. So don't expect cow pies to disappear from your favorite BLM lands. On the other hand, he opposes drilling in ANWAR and here in Colorado he's been on the right side in the battle over the Roan Plateau.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/18/2008 11:27:14 MST Print View

I'll be watching to see whether grazing reform will even be broached by the new administration. He might be able to advance it simply by virtue of being from a ranching family.

IIRC Babbit got smacked down pretty resolutely when trying for grazing reform.

Since few will have any idea what we're talking about, here's a comparison of western market grazing rates and the federal rate. As you'll see, it's essentially free to graze cattle on federal land, which is pretty galling considering the impact it can have.



Such a deal.

Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/18/2008 14:24:03 MST Print View

The NY Times did a little story on Salazar today. It is not entirely flattering. The gist of it is that the oil, gas, and mining interests are supportive of Salazar's appointment. Environmentalists not so much.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/19/2008 22:11:46 MST Print View

More on Salazar from a Wyoming perspective.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Secretary of the Interior on 12/21/2008 15:41:36 MST Print View

Dondo and all

Good info. Here's another bit of info...

DECEMBER 18, 2008

Big Drilling Issues Await Salazar
Obama's Pick to Run Interior Opposed Oil-Shale Work but Helped Broker Offshore Deal


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ken Salazar, President-elect Barack Obama's choice to run the Interior Department, is a Colorado Democrat who has opposed Bush administration efforts to open more Western land for oil-shale exploration, but worked with Republicans to broker a deal to allow more offshore oil exploration.

Mr. Salazar has been an outspoken advocate of renewable-energy sources, as have Mr. Obama's pick for energy secretary, Steven Chu, and his choice to be the top White House environmental adviser, Carol Browner. But as head of the Interior Department, Mr. Salazar will be both custodian and gatekeeper for the extensive fossil-fuel resources on public lands.

Mr. Obama announced his nomination of Mr. Salazar as interior secretary and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary on Wednesday at a press conference in Chicago.

Mr. Vilsack, 56 years old, sought the Democratic presidential nomination himself but dropped out early on. Like many other farm state politicians, he supports various federal policies that promote use of ethanol.

Among Mr. Salazar's mandates at Interior will be restoring confidence in the department's management of mineral resources following a series of scandals at Interior's Minerals Management Service. In one example, officials at the agency, which collects billions of dollars for federal coffers in royalty and lease revenue, were accused by the inspector general this year of improper conduct in relations with oil-industry executives.

One of the hottest issues Mr. Salazar would face would be a decision on where and when the government should allow oil and gas exploration, particularly on the Outer Continental Shelf where experts say billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas lie untapped.

Despite falling oil prices, the Obama administration will have to readdress the drilling issue in the new year. Under pressure from voters whose budgets were hit hard by $4-a-gallon gasoline, Congress allowed a federal moratorium on offshore drilling to expire, paving the way for a new lease schedule unless lawmakers and the administration reinstate the ban.

Mr. Salazar has opposed expanded oil-shale leases, arguing that such activity could threaten the region's scarce water supplies, and has voted for a federal renewable-energy mandate that would require utilities to provide a growing percentage of the power from sources such as wind and solar. Besides large natural-gas resources, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain states are home to what many scientists believe is some of the best wind-energy potential in the nation.

But he was also one of a group of 16 lawmakers who earlier this year tried to broker an agreement on offshore drilling in exchange for billions of dollars in new spending on low-carbon technologies. Mr. Salazar also made a deal with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.), who publicly credited him with helping to win Gulf of Mexico drilling access in exchange for opposition of oil-shale development.

The Colorado senator has also been in favor of trying to force oil companies such as Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell PLC to renegotiate Gulf of Mexico leases signed in 1998-99 that omitted royalty-price thresholds that government auditors say have cost the U.S. billions in uncollected revenue.

Meanwhile, Mr. Salazar's confirmation would open up his Senate seat. Already Democrats are flooding Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter with advice on how to fill it.

Among the candidates most prominently mentioned: Mr. Salazar's brother, John, a U.S. representative from rural Colorado; John Hickenlooper, the popular mayor of Denver; and U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who represents the fast-growing Denver suburbs, a rich trove of votes. Another possibility: Federico Peña, the former Denver mayor who served as both energy and transportation secretary in the Clinton administration. Mr. Peña re-emerged this year to vigorously campaign on behalf of Mr. Obama's presidential bid.