Ken Salazar has announced he will resign from his role as Secretary of the Interior at the US Department of Interior by the end of March when his four-year term as secretary has been fulfilled.
Salazar plans to return to his hometown of Colorado when he steps down. “Colorado is and will always be my home. I look forward to returning to my family and Colorado after eight years in Washington, D.C.,” said Salazar. “I am forever grateful to President Obama for his friendship in the US Senate and the opportunity he gave me to serve as a member of his cabinet during this historic presidency.”
Salazar has served his state and the nation for 14 continuous years as Colorado Attorney General, United States Senator and as the 50th secretary of the US Department of the Interior.
Under Salazar’s leadership, the department has played a key role in changing the energy future for the US. Since 2009, the department has authorised 10.4GW of renewable energy projects including 34 solar projects on public lands. Salazar also oversaw a blueprint for solar energy development in the west of the US.
“Today, the largest solar energy projects in the world are under construction on America’s public lands in the West, and we’ve issued the first leases for offshore wind in the Atlantic,” said Salazar. “I am proud of the renewable energy revolution that we have launched.”
“I have had the privilege of reforming the Department of the Interior to help lead the United States in securing a new energy frontier, ushering in a conservation agenda for the 21st century, and honouring our word to the nation’s first Americans,” added Salazar. “I thank the more than 70,000 employees at the department for their dedication to our mission as custodians of America’s natural and cultural resources. I look forward to helping my successor in a seamless transition in the months ahead.”
A successor has not yet been announced but news reports suggest three US governors may be among the running — Colorado's Bill Ritter, Washington's Christine Gregoire and Montana's Brian Schweitzer.