Democratic News

HEARING STATEMENT
Jan. 15, 2009
 
The Committee meets this morning to consider the nomination of our colleague, Senator Ken Salazar to be the Secretary of the Interior.
“Senators and Representatives have been named Secretary of the Interior before, but I believe this is the first time that a member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has been appointed Secretary of the Interior.
 
“President-elect Obama could not have chosen a better nominee.  As a westerner who has farmed and ranched, who has practiced water law, and served in state government before coming to the Senate, Senator Salazar understands the West and the special needs of the public land states.
 
“He has played an active role on the Committee in helping to shape energy policy legislation in the last two Congresses.  He understands the need to develop our oil and gas resources, but also the importance of balancing our energy needs with land conservation, outdoor recreation, and the environment.  He has been a forceful advocate for clean, renewable energy technologies, for outdoor recreation, and for our rural communities.                                
 
“His service on this Committee will serve Senator Salazar well in his new role.   He will take with him to the Department both a keen appreciation of the Department’s mission as the steward of our public lands and natural resources, and a thorough understanding of the many challenges facing the Department.  As a soon-to-be-former Senator, he will also appreciate the need to work with the Committee and the Congress generally in trying to address these challenges.            
           
“I am sorry to be losing Senator Salazar as a member of the Committee, but I am delighted by his nomination.  He has my enthusiastic support and I hope we can confirm his nomination as soon as it is received next week.”
 
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