Representative Raúl M. Grijalva ‘gets it’ before it needs gettin’. Salazar is an industry apologist
Representative Raúl M. Grijalva issued a press release highlighting a recent Washington Post article describing how his foresight on offshore drilling, a foresight directly pertinent to any hope at having spared the world the worst environmental disaster in history, is the very reason President Obama declined to appoint him Secretary of the Interior, instead choosing industry-friendly Ken Salazar :
Tucson, Ariz. – According to a recent featured story in the Washington Post, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva was passed over for Secretary of the Interior during the Obama transition because of his unwillingness to approve offshore drilling projects without first strengthening Bush-era environmental standards. The story, which ran Oct. 13, indicates that current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was more in line with the president’s urge toward a “balanced” energy portfolio that included more offshore drilling.
Lifting the drilling moratorium: How politics spilled into policy – Michael Leahy and Juliet Eilperin – The Washington Post
Members of Obama’s transition team for the Interior Department, who were handling the preliminary talks with Grijalva and others, spoke enthusiastically about Obama’s “balanced” energy approach, which embraced new drilling as a transition to a day when “clean” energy could replace fossil fuels.
A dissenting Grijalva told the transition team that it was premature to talk about an expansion of drilling. His first priority, he said, would be correcting the dangerous imbalance he saw between industry and federal regulators. Before he could endorse expansion, Grijalva suggested, Interior would need to regain the upper hand.
Previously, a few of Salazar’s failures at Interior:
The Spill, The Scandal and the President
“Employees describe being in Interior – not just MMS, but the other agencies – as the third Bush term,” says Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which represents federal whistle-blowers. “They’re working for the same managers who are implementing the same policies. Why would you expect a different result?”
The Obama administration’s listing decisions always cut the same way, representing what amounts to exclusive benefits extended to big business interests at the expense of wild places, the public interest, and those faint and voiceless wildlife communities on the precipice of being extinguished from our world forever.
Not good for the Sagebrush Sea and those plant and wildlife communities that depend on it, and not an efficient administration of the ESA that promotes the actual recovery of the landscape necessary to prevent the necessity for future listings.
The same breaches of accountability to the public interest exist in other agencies within the Interior Department – and the consequences are much the same, albeit felt in slow-motion relative to the oil spill.
The Bureau of Land Management, an agency within Salazar’s Interior, remains captured by industry – the same Bush era “burrows” continue their push to expedite the commercial “use” of the vast ecological wealth of our public lands, grasses, waters, and wildlife into cattle forage – with consideration of its environmental consequence held at the back-burner, if it takes place at all.
The report starts with this:
“The Department of the Interior (Interior) has never had, and currently operates without, a scientific integrity policy. Further, it has no requirement to track allegations of scientific misconduct, and its discipline and adverse action policy is deficient to the point that scientific misconduct deeds could go unpunished. Without sound policies to protect the scientific community and general public from potentially flawed scientific research, data, and publications, Interior’s reputation and its public trust are at risk.”
etc. etc. etc.