Environmental groups to Salazar: Resign

More than 100 scientists and conservation groups have signed a letter calling for the resignation of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, citing not only his handling of the Gulf oil spill but also the positions he has taken on issues in the West.

The letter, sent by WildEarth Guardians, contends the actions of the former U.S. senator from Colorado haven’t matched his tough talk about being “the new sheriff in town.”

“Mr. Salazar’s failure to clean up Interior is why we’re seeing the mess in the Gulf,” Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians said in a news release. “We need serious mopping up within this department, and it should start with Salazar leaving.”

Salazar’s critics say the Obama administration has failed to clean up the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service it inherited when it took office, and that the agency has continued to show reckless lack of oversight of the oil and gas industry. WildEarth Guardians also criticized Interior’s granting of at least 27 exemptions from federal laws for drillers in the Gulf even following the explosion of the BP well there.

The letter says Salazar’s talk of needing to confront a climate change crisis is belied by his granting of major coal leases in Wyoming and Montana and disputing the crisis in court filings.

He also is being criticized for delaying endangered species protection for 300 species and agreeing to remove protections for gray wolves in much of the Northern Rockies.


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