December 17, 2008
Brian Kennedy (202) 346-8826
Chris Tucker (202) 346-8825

IER: Obama Interior Pick Will Have “Plenty to Say” on When, Whether American Economy Can Make Its Way Back

IER president urges Sec.-designate Salazar to leverage power of affordable energy to deliver jobs, revenue and energy Americans need

WASHINGTON – Institute for Energy Research president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement today after the president-elect formally announced his intention to nominate U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) to serve as our nation’s 50th secretary of the Interior:

“As a cabinet officer soon to be charged with managing one of every five acres of land in the United States, along with nearly two billion acres of submerged land offshore, Senator Salazar will have a crucial role to play in strengthening our country’s energy security. He’ll also have plenty to say on whether access to affordable, reliable energy continues to be available to all Americans. We congratulate Senator Salazar on this important nomination, and look forward to working with him to ensure his office diligently works toward these goals.

“Senator Salazar’s legislative record suggests these twin national priorities of energy security and affordability may end up playing second fiddle to the desire to lock these resources away. As a Senator, Salazar has been a persistent critic of granting basic energy access to the people of this country who own it, whether that energy resides under Alaska’s North Slope, Colorado’s Roan Plateau, or in massive deepwater reserves far offshore. That will have to change if our economy has any hope of making a full and swift recovery.

“Never before in our nation’s history has the role of Interior Secretary been as central to the long-term health and well being of our country. It’s our hope that Senator Salazar comes to understand the gravity of this new role, better appreciate the benefits of expanding access to reliable energy sources, and fully consider the consequences we can expect for choosing not to.”

The facts on Sen. Salazar:

  • Fought attempts by the federal government to expand production of clean-burning domestic natural gas on Colorado’s Roan Plateau, impeding the safe development of nine trillion cubic feet of natural gas – enough to heat and cool four million American homes for 20 years.
  • Proudly announced his support for a so-called energy bill that would’ve permanently locked away nearly 75 percent of America’s known offshore energy resources, increased utility rates for all Americans, and expanded the reach of the federal government in the day-to-day decisions of American energy consumers.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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