Obama: Interior reforms too slow

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Off With His Hat

Finally some sanity ~ it’ll be interesting to see whether Obama has the integrity to follow through (not holding my breath):

Obama: Interior reforms too slow ~ By Dan Berman, Politico

White House insiders say Salazar has fallen out of favor and speculate that he will be gone after November’s midterms. Obama didn’t say directly whether Salazar would still have a job, but he acknowledged the overhaul of the former Minerals Management Service — long accused of being too cozy with the oil and gas companies it regulated — took too long.

It’s not just the MMS that’s been a disgrace under Salazar’s Interior, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management,and other agencies at Interior are all failing the American public, effectively liquidating America’s environmental heritage to appease the very industries that ran the Department under the Bush Administration.

Interior: same contractors doing their NEPA on behalf of the same industries … if it smells like Bush and tastes like Bush … we’re supposed to call it “Change” ?

Ken Salazar promises reform at Interior Department

Salazar’s hearing before Senate Committe-

Sounds like any generic, old school Western Democrat that has been in this “saddle” many times before-

Ken Salazar promises reform at Interior Department. LA Times. By Jim Tankersley

Barack Obama criticized — again — over pick of Ken Salazar as Interior secretary. By Pete Thomas. LA Times.

I should add that there are those who say many of Obama’s cabinet choices will not have a lot of freedom of action because the big decisions will be made by advisors at higher levels closer to the President. This can be good or bad, depending on the advisors, the President and the issue.

Salazar confirmation hearings today expected to yield few fireworks

This is the big office for those interested in Western wildlife and public lands. The nomination doesn’t seem controversial to his fellow senators-

Salazar confirmation hearings expected to yield few fireworks. Senator generally respected, admired by GOP and Dems. By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News

Kevin Richert: Pricey privy: What was Kempthorne thinking?

For most Americans, this is what Kempthorne might be remembered for-

Kevin Richert: Pricey privy: What was Kempthorne thinking? Idaho Statesman.

The average American, especially those not from the West, doesn’t know much about the scandal-ridden Department of Interior. This is the sort of think that sticks in peoples’ minds.

Kempthorne struggles to construct clean image… and bathroom

Department of Interior Secretarty Dirk Kempthorne swung into Boise, Idaho in a fleet of black Escalades yesterday to attend a luncheon in honor of his “public service”.   While industry leaders met with Idaho’s politicos to celebrate Kempthorne’s ‘achievement’ Western Watersheds Project’s Katie Fite, Ken Cole and indie rock band Built to Spill bassist guitarist Brett Netson stood in the snow to bring attention to Kempthorne’s dismal record at Interior :

The protesters called attention to unethical actions of staffers in the department, which they say occurred during Kempthorne’s leadership and under the direction of his predecessor Gale Norton.

Yeah, let’s not forget all these midnight regulations, the attempt to gut the ESA (in a number of ways), the free-for-all oil & gas extravaganza and any number of other transgressions that occur(ed) under Kempthorne’s watch.

But Dirk, like any crafty politician, has never been one to let the truth stand in the way of a good talking point double-speak :

Read the rest of this entry »

Speculation on why Salazar?

George Wuerthner analysis why Ken Salazar got the nod-

Why Salazar?  By George Wuerthner, New West.

One interesting thought is that with senator Ken Salazar gone, the much more progressive Mark Udall will become Colorado’s senior senator. I should add that for progressives to improve their senatorial lot in Colorado, Ken Salazar’s appointed replacement cannot be his perhaps even less progressive brother, congressman, John Salazar.

Industry likes Salazar at Obama Interior, not greens

Daniel Patterson’s blog has found a lot of quotes about Ken Salazar-

Industry likes Salazar at Obama Interior, not greens. Daniel’s News and Notes.

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So probably (I hope Buffaloed is right, another trial ballon)  a bad Secretary of Interior, and an

EPA chief whose toxics record was so bad she was criticized by Bush’s EPA, and now

there is renewed talk of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, the agri-business lackey for Secretary of Agriculture.  Just a few more like this and how are they different in philosophy than Bush’s people?