Secretary Salazar announces resignation from DOI
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that he will return to his home state of Colorado, having served four years as Secretary of the Interior. Secretary Salazar has informed President Obama that he intends to leave the Department by the end of March.
“Colorado is and will always be my home. I look forward to returning to my family and Colorado after eight years in Washington, D.C.,” said Secretary Salazar. “I am forever grateful to President Obama for his friendship in the U.S. Senate and the opportunity he gave me to serve as a member of his cabinet during this historic presidency.”
“I have had the privilege of reforming the Department of the Interior to help lead the United States in securing a new energy frontier, ushering in a conservation agenda for the 21st century, and honoring our word to the nation’s first Americans,” added Salazar. “I thank the more than 70,000 employees at the Department for their dedication to our mission as custodians of America’s natural and cultural resources. I look forward to helping my successor in a seamless transition in the months ahead.”
Under Secretary Salazar’s leadership, Interior has played a key role in helping developing U.S. energy security, both for renewable and conventional energy.
Since 2009, Interior has authorized 34 solar, wind and geothermal energy projects on public lands that total 10,400 megawatts - or enough to power over 3 million homes. Salazar also established the nation’s first program for offshore wind leasing and permitting in America’s oceans.
Salazar has also undertaken an overhaul of Interior’s management of oil and gas resources, implementing strong new ethics standards for all employees. He led Interior’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and split the former Minerals Management Service into three independent agencies with clear, independent missions to oversee ocean energy management and revenue collection. Interior has offered millions of acres offshore in the Gulf of Mexico for safe and responsible exploration and development and is proceeding with cautious exploration of Arctic resources. Onshore, Interior has also leased millions of acres for oil and gas development over the last four years while protecting special landscapes for hunting and fishing and other uses.
“We have undertaken the most aggressive oil and gas safety and reform agenda in U.S. history, raising the bar on offshore drilling safety, practices and technology and ensuring that energy development is done in the right way and in the right places,” said Salazar. “Today, drilling activity in the Gulf is surpassing levels seen before the spill, and our nation is on a promising path to energy independence.”
Salazar, a fifth-generation Coloradoan, has served his state and the nation for 14 continuous years as Colorado Attorney General, United States Senator and as the 50th secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.