Report: Salazar Has Accepted Interior Secretary Position

Bump and update: Our local news is reporting Sen. Salazar has been offered and accepted the cabinet position of Secretary of the Interior.

The speculation now turns to who Gov. Ritter will name to replace him. Top names mentioned: Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Diana DeGette , Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff. My choices: Diana DeGette, followed by Ed Perlmutter. [More...]


Reports of Sen. Ken Salazar for Interior Secretary

Both the Denver Post and Reuters are reporting that unnamed sources advise that Colorado Senator Ken Salazar is among the top choices for the Secretary of the Interior.

Salazar just held a fundraiser for his 2010 Senate re-election and raised $400,000. I wonder what happens to that money if he takes a cabinet position?

I think Salazar has more power as a Senator given his tendency to compromise with Republicans. With his bipartisan nature, he can probably be of more use to Obama in the Senate as well.

I have my doubts Salazar would accept the position, but if he does, I think he'll make a fine Interior Secretary. And I won't mind his absence in the Senate when it comes to voting on judicial appointments and crime bills. He's been too much of a conservative in those areas.

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    Whoever the next Interior (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Blowback on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 12:37:35 PM EST
    Secretary is, he(she) will have to deal with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    The patch is characterised by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.


    Not Interior's Problem (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jsj20002 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 07:27:15 AM EST
    The problem of deep ocean pollution is not under the jurisdiction of the Interior Department until the debris washes up on land they administer such as the Northern Hawaiian Islands Wildlife Sanctuary or the debris originates from lands or rivers under DOI control.  The primary responsibility lies with the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.  NOAA has several programs that attempt to address ocean debris and State is active in international negotiations to stop other countries to from polluting the high seas.  

    Deal with? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Fabian on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 12:44:19 PM EST
    I've read about it.  The best way to deal with it is to engineer some plastic eating microbes.  The problem is too vast to deal with mechanically.  We can use it to chart changing winds and currents though.

    That silver lining :) (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 01:07:24 PM EST
    Climate Change is a'coming! (none / 0) (#8)
    by Fabian on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 01:13:38 PM EST
    Some things will be hard to measure(deep ocean currents) but other things (anything on the surface) are much easier to measure.

    I think he'll take it (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 01:06:14 PM EST
    It's the sort of job he does best therefore he must enjoy it.  And right now, with the economy folding like a church luncheon chair it is the perfect time for Colorado to take a crack at getting someone to represent them that isn't a DINO.

    Looking at environmental group ratings (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by magster on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 01:30:32 PM EST
    ... Salazar is mediocre compared to other Democrats, and I'd prefer a stronger environmentalist.  Having Ritter replace Salazar with a better Democrat is an upside though, as long as Ritter would actually do that (Denver Post says Salazar's folks would push for Ken's brother and Blue Dog, John Salazar as a replacement).

    Yes. Thank you. (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Plutonium Page on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 04:45:45 PM EST
    What I find worrying is exemplified by his editorial in the Washington Post from this summer.

    A few excerpts:

    Heedless Rush to Oil Shale

    By Ken Salazar
    Tuesday, July 15, 2008; A19

    To hear Bush touting Western oil shale as the answer to $4 per gallon gasoline, as he did again yesterday in the Rose Garden, you would think it was 1908 . . . or 1920 . . . or 1945 . . . or 1974. Every couple of decades over the past century, the immense reserves of the oily rock under Colorado and Utah reemerge as the great hope for our energy future.

    Bush and his fellow oil shale boosters claim that if only Western communities would stand aside, energy companies could begin extracting more than 500 billion barrels of recoverable oil from domestic shale deposits. If only the federal government immediately offered even more public lands for development, the technology to extract oil from rock would suddenly ripen, oil supplies would rise and gas prices would fall.

    If only.

    Ok, that sounds good. Looking forward to an editorial that discusses the folly of gas prices being lowered by oil shale exploration, as well as the devastating environmental impacts.

    Oh, wait.  No.  He doesn't say a word about the environmental impact.

    I'd expect him to be a little concerned about that.

    He discusses careful development... the fact that he's discussing development AT ALL is alarming to me.

    But hey, oh well, whatever.  Pardon my cynicism, but we're bound for all sorts of unnecessary environmental destruction no matter who is chosen.  Look at what all the Dems were saying during their campaigns: drill, drill, drill.


    Of course he's concerned about the... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 05:09:40 PM EST
    ...enviromental impact--hence the mention of the communities "stepping aside".  The local communities are the ones pushing back on the enviromental protections.   Coloradians, especially those on the Western Slope, know the cost to our lands--and economy (the Western Slope is heavily dependent on hunting, fishing and other outdoor rec. activities) that come with irresponsible development of our resources.  It is very much their livelyhood and they very protective of it.  

    Salazar also remembers, like the rest of us old-timers, the economic choas that came with the last oil shale boom and bust.  Those scars are still very much with us.  

    It doesn't hurt that his family has been working the land for generation upon generation either.  Conservation is something that the Salazar's have always taken seriously.

    The enviroment is one area where he gets passing grades in my book.  I'd rather someone who has at least some connection to our land and water and air than some James Watt like corporate whore who's prime directive is profit.  


    Agreed (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 05:46:31 AM EST
    I like the rest of his energy team, but this one is a definite disappointment. Why not a very strong environmentalist?

    Me too (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 03:59:26 PM EST
    Now that Colrado is Blue, surely they can come up with a better Dem Senator than Salazar. Even his brother John, currently a Rep,  is a shade more blue.

     I'm sure Ken would be fine in the cabinet post.

    By Rep I meant Representative (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 04:01:15 PM EST
    as in 'House of'...but Republican is pretty close as well.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 04:17:09 PM EST
    ...getting Ken out the Senate would be a very, very good thing.  The Democratic bench in Colorado is stocked with better/more progressive people.  

    Bill could appoint any number of people and we'd be better off.  Andrew Romanoff is my first choice--great guy, great legislator and the best chance to win the seat when it comes up for election.  

    Romanoff would be a great choice (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:07:07 AM EST
    I was very impressed with him when I lived out there. Seemed very smart tactically as well as on the issues. Lord knows the Dems need more smart tacticians in the Senate.

    and he will be a conservative on the Interior (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 06:22:21 PM EST
    and we can not afford that now.
    Doesn't Obama owe any liberals/progressives?

    Seriously, Jeralyn... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:40:09 AM EST
    ...Diane Degette?  I know you are a big fan and all, but do you really think she can win a state-wide office?  

    I sure don't.  She's never had to a face much of a challenge (primary or general) in her oh so safe House seat, is seen as an ultra-liberal outside of Denver and has never ran and/or won a state-wide office.  

    Electability is a very important consideration for this appointment and DD doesn't cut the mustard, IMO.


    Very well said, spoken from the (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 10:02:33 AM EST
    Colorado trenches.

    DeGette won't be offered the job (none / 0) (#32)
    by rdandrea on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:01:20 AM EST
    I think Romanoff would be an easy appointment for the Governor.  Appointing Andy would allow Ritter to fill a hole without digging another one.  Plus, it allows Ritter to appoint Buescher to Secretary of State.  Andy and Bernie were the two leading candidates.

    Regardless of what we think, however, he'll appoint a blue-ribbon group to give him three names, the same as he did with Secretary of State.


    In the olden days (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 12:40:18 PM EST
    he could have used it to buy a small yacht. Today, he'll probably keep it for a while, and then transfer it to the DSCC.

    Or (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 01:02:20 PM EST
    He could use it for legal fees, should he need legal services.

    Sun god forbid... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 02:44:52 PM EST
    Salazar give it back to the people who donated to his campaign.  

    If he decides not to run and take the cabinet position, keeping that money is akin to fraud in my eyes.


    THIS is definitely change I can believe in... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Exeter on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 02:14:19 PM EST

    I'll add another name to the mix... (none / 0) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:25:00 PM EST
    ...Cary Kennedy.  Close to the Gov., good solid progressive, has name recognition and has won state-wide office.  Would be nice for us to get away from the male strangle hold on the Senate too.

    Dollars to donuts, it won't be Hick.  He's pretty happy where's he's at and is more likely to be attracted to a run at Gov. when Bill is done.  

    I like Cary too (none / 0) (#33)
    by rdandrea on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 11:03:46 AM EST
    She's extremely competent and would make a great Senator.  But appointing her digs another hole by creating yet another vacant statewide office.

    Well, well, well . . . . (none / 0) (#21)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:43:18 PM EST
    looks like you have room for Caroline now. Perhaps start up a campaign petition for her?  ;)

    See my post above... (none / 0) (#22)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 07:52:48 PM EST
    ...we already have our own Kennedy, thank you very much.  No tradezies.  

    Ours is much, much more qualified to represent the people of Colorado in the Senate too.



    I honestly think she should be gifted (none / 0) (#23)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 08:23:27 PM EST
    Teddy's seat if they so desperately want to keep a Kennedy in the Senate. We also have more qualified people for NYS. Glad your Kennedy is qualified  :)

    I'd like to keep Ted (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 09:11:48 AM EST
    As long as possible...

    After him, who knows, but Caroline isn't from MA.


    Seems a bit risky to put a Colorado Senate seat (none / 0) (#24)
    by ericinatl on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 11:01:04 PM EST
    in play.  No?

    Nah, it was trending blue (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 at 08:02:25 AM EST
    as it was but I feel certain that the economy will have brought on a full dye job.  There is big work to be done in the future where the economy is concerned and it isn't the sort of work that Republicans even begin to know how to address.  Colorado has more of a Libertarian streak really than a red streak.  If defense is the worry of the time they'll vote Republican but if the economy is our hardship they'll vote Democrat.  Remember that Colorado went for the first Clinton without a fight.