Ken Salazar was Obama’s choice for Secretary of the Interior and took office January 20, 2009. Previously Salazar was a member of the Colorado State Senate, served as Attorney General for the state of COlorado and was elected to the US Senate from Colorado in 2004. Since being in office Salazar has made a few controversial decisions. He supported the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s decision to remove the Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species list in two states, a decision that earned Salazar some flak from the Defenders of Wildlife. He also announced that he would uphold a policy, left over from the Bush administration, that regulation of greenhouse gas emissions was not within the jurisdiction of the Endangered Species Act. Many environmental groups had urged the ESA to be used as a tool for regulating global warming because of the impact climate change has on wildlife such as polar bears, but Salazar stated that the ESA was not the appropriate tool for climate change control. Personally, I agree with that decision, especially in light of the fact that Obama’s EPA has announced it will attempt to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, a much more appropriate legislative tool. Whether Salazar has been any good or not may not matter for much longer. He has been expected to step down in 2010 to run for Governor of Colorado, but more recent reports have it that he’s decided against it and will remain Secretary of the Interior.
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