Republican News

Republican News

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, made the following statement Thursday at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nomination of Senator Ken Salazar to be Secretary of the Department of the Interior:
 
“I am glad to say that Senator Salazar has had experience on all sides of the public land debate: as a rancher, and as both Colorado’s attorney general and head of the state Department of Natural Resources. Senator Salazar of course, has the federal side covered through his service as a distinguished member of this committee for the past four years,” Murkowski said.
 
“If confirmed, as I certainly expect him to be, Senator Salazar will head an agency of 73,000 people with broad responsibilities for our nation’s federal lands, national parks, and off-shore areas; our endangered species and water resources; and our Indian Tribes.”
 
“The Interior Department is also the biggest landlord of public land in Alaska, with title to more than 200 million acres – a full 60 percent of my home state.”
 
“Senator Salazar’s experience as a Westerner, including his various roles in government, has given him a thoughtful and practical approach to these difficult and complex issues.  His reputation as a consensus builder and a centrist is well deserved.” 
 
Senator Murkowski questioned nominee Salazar on several Alaska-specific issues, including efforts to complete the transfer of nearly 11 million acres promised to Alaska at statehood. Murkowski also sought a commitment from Salazar to work with the state on an Alaska natural gas pipeline project
 
At Senator Murkowski’s request, Salazar has agreed to visit Alaska following his confirmation by the full Senate to see firsthand the unique challenges Alaskans face.
 
The Interior Department is the biggest landlord of public land in Alaska, with title to more than 200 million acres or 60 percent of the state.  As head of the Interior Department, Salazar will be tasked with a number of issues important to Alaska.
 
Senator Murkowski is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.