Barack Obama is expected to announce the appointment of Colorado Senator Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior today. I suppose that there could be worse choices, like James Inhofe, perhaps, but Senator Salazar is pretty low down on the list of responsible choices to lead the Department of the Interior.
In general, Ken Salazar has acted to support a right wing agenda in the United States Senate. In the Progressive Patriots legislative scorecard over the last two years, Salazar earned a progressive rating of only 13 percent, but got a right wing rating of 50 percent. The two years before that were a bit better, but not much. From 2004 to 2006, Ken Salazar’s legislative actions earned only a 40 percent progressive rating, but a 45 percent right wing rating.
On environmental issues, Ken Salazar has often failed to stand on the right side. For example, Salazar withheld support from the common sense requirement that the Army Corps of Engineers take climate into account when planning its projects. Salazar also refused to lend his support to S. 309, the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, which would have amended the Clean Air Act to require the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Ken Salazar also was among the Democrats in the Senate this year who supported expanding offshore oil drilling, just weeks before oil prices plummeted. The drop in oil prices was due to energy conservation, not drilling – proof that expanded offshore drilling was completely unnecessary.
To add insult to injury, when he was asked by a journalist yesterday whether he would reinstate the ban on expanded offshore drilling that had been in place for over ten years before this summer’s drill baby drill idiocy, Barack Obama refused to answer the question.
This summer, Barack Obama joined Ken Salazar on the hypewagon to support offshore drilling. His appointment of Senator Salazar as Interior Secretary suggests that when it comes to management of our nation’s natural resources, we can expect the dominance of hype over rational planning and protection to continue.