Interior Secretary Stepping Down

by Christopher Freeburn | January 16, 2013 12:31 pm

[1]President Barack Obama will have to look for yet another new cabinet secretary[2].

Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, has announced that he will leave the Interior Department in March. The president’s short list of possible replacements includes Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and Director of White House Office of Personnel Management John Berry, the Associated Press notes.

Salazar joins a number of cabinet secretaries who are departing as the president prepares to begin his second term, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

A former U.S. Senator from Colorado, Salazar made promoting renewable energy projects the centerpiece of his agenda throughout the president’s first term, backing various solar and wind power projects on public lands.

The outgoing Interior Secretary imposed a controversial moratorium on offshore drilling in the wake of the 2010 sinking of BP‘s (NYSE:BP[3]) Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, which produced a massive oil spill that damaged the Gulf Coast. Industry groups contend that the moratorium resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs. He also clashed often with oil companies over drilling on public lands.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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