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Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to Step Down and Return to Colorado

Kirk Siegler
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's "Wild Lands" secretarial order has been praised by conservationists and Democrats, and criticized by the oil and gas industry and many Republicans.

Former Colorado Senator Ken Salazar will step down as Interior Secretary at the end of March.

In a written press release, Salazar said he would return to Colorado.

“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.”

The White House also issued a statement by President Obama on Salazar’s departure.

“I want to thank Ken for his hard work and leadership on behalf of the American people.  As the Secretary of the Interior, Ken has helped usher in a new era of conservation for our nation’s land, water, and wildlife.  Ken has played an integral role in my Administration’s successful efforts to expand responsible development of our nation’s domestic energy resources.  In his work to promote renewable energy projects on our public lands and increase the development of oil and gas production, Ken has ensured that the Department’s decisions are driven by the best science and promote the highest safety standards.  Ken has also made historic strides in strengthening our nation to nation relationship with Indian Country, helping to resolve longstanding disputes and make tribal communities safer and stronger. I have valued Ken’s friendship since we both entered the Senate in 2005, and I look forward to receiving his counsel even after he returns to his home state of Colorado.”

Ken Salazar has had a long career in Colorado politics serving as the director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Attorney General and as Colorado Senator after being elected in 2004.

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