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 - voted against increased fuel efficiency standards for the U.S. automobile
fleet

 - voted to allow offshore oil drilling along Florida's coast

 - voted to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to ignore global warming
impacts in their water development projects

 - voted against the repeal of tax breaks for Exxon-Mobil

 - voted to support subsidies to ranchers and other users of public forest
and range lands

 - threatened to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when its scientists
determined the black-tailed prairie dog may be endangered

 - fought efforts to increase protection for endangered species and the
environment in the Farm Bill

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2008/salazar-12-16-2008.html

Contact: Kieran Suckling, Executive Director, (520) 275-5960

*Ken Salazar a Disappointing Choice for Secretary of the Interior
Stronger, More Scientifically Based Leadership Needed to
Fix Crisis-Plagued Agency*

TUCSON, *Ariz*. Strong rumors are circulating that President-elect Barack
Obama has selected Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., as the new Secretary of the
Interior. As the overseer of the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land
Management, the Minerals Management Services, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, and the Endangered Species Act, the Secretary of the Interior is
most important position in the protection of America's lands, waters, and
endangered species.

The Department of the Interior has been rocked by scandals during the Bush
administration, most revolving around corrupt bureaucrats overturning and
squelching agency scientists as they attempted to protect endangered species
and natural resources from exploitation by developers, loggers, and oil and
gas development. As recently as Monday, the Interior Department Inspector
General issued another in a string of reports
<http://wyden.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=305942&>finding that top
Department officials systematically violated laws and regulations in order
to avoid or eliminate environmental protections.

"The Department of the Interior desperately needs a strong, forward looking,
reform-minded Secretary," said Kieran Suckling, executive director of
the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity. "Unfortunately, Ken
Salazar is not that man. He endorsed George Bush's selection of Gale Norton
as Secretary of Interior, the very woman who initiated and encouraged the
scandals that have rocked the Department of the Interior. Virtually all of
the misdeeds described in yesterday's Inspector General expose occurred
during the tenure of the person Ken Salazar advocated for the position he is
now seeking."

While Salazar has promoted some good environmental actions and fought
against off-road vehicle abuse, his overall record is decidedly mixed, and
is especially weak in the arenas most important to the next Secretary of the
Interior: protecting scientific integrity, combating global warming,
reforming energy development and protecting endangered species. Salazar:

 - voted against increased fuel efficiency standards for the U.S. automobile
fleet

 - voted to allow offshore oil drilling along Florida's coast

 - voted to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to ignore global warming
impacts in their water development projects

 - voted against the repeal of tax breaks for Exxon-Mobil

 - voted to support subsidies to ranchers and other users of public forest
and range lands

 - threatened to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when its scientists
determined the black-tailed prairie dog may be endangered

 - fought efforts to increase protection for endangered species and the
environment in the Farm Bill

"Obama's choices for Secretary of Energy and his 'Climate Change Czar'
indicate a determined willingness to take on global warming," Suckling said.
"That team will be weakened by the addition of Ken Salazar, who has fought
against federal action on global warming, against higher fuel efficiency
standards, and for increased oil drilling and oil subsidies."

In addition to his misstep on Norton, Salazar endorsed the elevation of
William Myers III to the federal bench. Myers was a former Interior
Department Solicitor and lobbyist for the ranching industry. Senator Patrick
Leahy, D-Vt., called him ''the most anti-environmental candidate for the
bench I have seen in 37 years in the Senate." Bizarrely, Salazar praised
Myers' "outstanding legal reasoning" regarding endangered species, Indian
affairs, federal lands and water, timber, and fish and wildlife issues. The
American Bar Association rated Myers as "not qualified." Salazar later
supported Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General, introducing him at his
Senate confirmation hearing.
"One of the most important jobs of the Secretary of the Interior is to help
pick dozens of critically important political appointees to oversee
America's conservation system," Suckling said. "His past misjudgments of
Norton, Myers and Gonzales give us little confidence he will choose wisely
in the future."
 _