December 17, 2008

Official: Salazar At Interior

With an ambitious set of goals:
Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar today was nominated to be Interior secretary by President-elect Barack Obama today.

"I look forward to serving as a strong voice for the West and the nation," Salazar said in his acceptance speech.

"I look forward to serving as we take the moon shot on energy independence," he said.

Salazar said as Interior Secretary he would also, "make sure we make wise use our natural resources, including coal, oil and natural gas."

"I look forward to investing in our nation's young people by implementing Barack Obama's youth programs," Salazar said.

Obama noted that one of the priorities for Salazar's tenure would be improved relations between Washington and tribal nations.

"We need more of a nation-to-nation relationship," Obama said. "Ken and I will work to together to make sure tribal nations have a voice in this administration."
Color fellow RMA blogger Steven Nielson unimpressed on that last goal. We can also expect that "wise use" of natural resources, including the vast quantities of Colorado oil shale, will probably mean "unused"--as the numerous articles discussing Salazar's appointment point repeatedly to his opposition of oil shale exploration and production.

The Rocky posted odds on the most likely replacements--including Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CD-7), and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

The GOP sees an opening in 2010 with the Salazar departure, but will still need to figure out who exactly remains viable on the extremely short Republican bench for both Salazar's Senate seat and a run against Gov. Bill Ritter, and how to avoid the type of ineffective campaigning seen most prominently in Bob Beauprez's failed gubernatorial bid in 2006.

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