Now It’s Time for a Visionary Interior Secretary

Written by Amanda Starbuck

Topics: Climate & Energy

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Obama Interior SecretaryWe got the news this morning that Ken Salazar is stepping down as Interior Secretary. He won’t be missed by RAN.

As head of the Department of Interior (DoI), Salazar had the opportunity to spearhead the transition to the clean energy future that we need to avert catastrophic climate change.

To be fair, Ken did approve some significant wind and solar projects.  But the positive impacts of these projects will be dwarfed by the climate emissions created by opening up new tracts of BLM land to the coal industry.

Salazar could have acted swiftly to protect families in Appalachia from the assault that they suffer on a daily basis through mountaintop removal coal mining. But under his leadership, the DoI spun its wheels and delayed tightening up the stream buffer zone rule, a key protection for waterways near mountaintop removal coal mines.

Frankly, we deserve better.

That’s why Rainforest Action Network has joined up with 260 conservation, Hispanic, recreation, animal welfare, religious, labor, youth, business and women’s groups to urge President Barack Obama to nominate Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) as the next interior secretary.

We need a knowledgeable, visionary leader who grasps both the urgency of the climate crisis and the practical paths toward real‐world solutions. We think Congressman Grijalva is such a leader.

 

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