It is good to see support from the National Mining Association for Obama’s pick to head the Interior Department, namely Senator Ken Salazar. I quote:
Oil and mining interests praised Mr. Salazar’s record as a state official and as a senator, saying that he was not doctrinaire about the use of public lands for resource exploitation. “Nothing in his record suggests he’s an ideologue,” said Luke Popovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association. “Here’s a man who understands the issues, is open-minded and can see at least two sides of an issue.”
Mr. Popovich noted approvingly that Mr. Salazar had tried to engineer a deal in the Senate under which mining companies and others could reclaim abandoned mines without fear of lawsuits. (The legislation is pending.) He also backed a compromise under which oil companies could drill for natural gas in limited parts of the Roan Plateau in northwestern Colorado, a plan that most environmental advocates opposed.
The report notes that Salazar is a “skeptic on oil shale.” We need not worry about that. For wiht oil prices fallen so far, and possibly further, there is no immediate need for the oil shales. There probably won’t be any need for them any time in the future either I suspect.
Environmentalists were less happy about his pick:
Salazar has a disturbingly weak conservation record, particularly on energy development, global warming, endangered wildlife and protecting scientific integrity,” said Mr. Patterson, who was elected last month to the Arizona House of Representatives from Tucson and supported Mr. Grijalva for the Interior Department job. “It’s no surprise oil and gas, mining, agribusiness and other polluting industries that have dominated Interior are supporting rancher Salazar — he’s their friend.”
In these days of turninnig fortunes, we will just have to wish him balance in his new job.