The Deepwater Horizons disaster is firmly etched in the American conscience as an example of bumbling incompetence and haphazard, if not non-existent, leadership. Unfortunately for Salazar, it is a brand of haphazard incompetence that has become the hallmark of his tenure at Interior. It's time for Barack Obama to “Drill, Baby, Drill.” We say he should start with Ken Salazar.
A few weeks back, we politely suggested to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that his time was up in DC and he ought to come home to Colorado. His brother is already here and would surely leave the light on we noted.
Secretary Salazar has not heeded our advice and we feel it's time to step up the pressure and make a call to action to Fire Salazar. So go to the Fire Salazar Facebook page and click “like,” and share it with your Facebook friends.
Some of our most popular posts have dealt with Salazar, so it seems our readers are interested in ending this Cabinet-level nightmare as well.
As Coloradans we feel a special connection both to Secretary Salazar and energy policy.
Ken's family, as it's so often reported, goes way back in Colorado. He started his political career here and launched himself into a Cabinet position based on offices won in Colorado. We created this massive failure, so we feel it's our duty as Coloradans to lead the call for his ouster. Sometimes you have to clean up the mess you make.
We had an expectation that Secretary Salazar would do his home state proud at Interior, providing a voice that understands reasonable regulation that allows access to domestic energy supplies, while simultaneously providing essential environmental protections.
Salazar has not only not lived up to that expectation, but he has shamed Colorado with his endless string of failures.
During the Deepwater Horizons disaster, for which the Interior Department had oversight responsibility, the Obama administration essentially put him in the federal government equivalent of NYC school districts' rubber rooms, cutting off his access to the press and making other federal officials the face of the response.
Salazar embarrassed them and they haven't forgotten. In fact, Salazar was named above all other Cabinet officials as a failure by unnamed sources spilling to a Washington Post scribe only last month.
Salazar may think that since infamous “lawyer-lobbyist” Tom Strickland stepped down as his Chief of Staff that his Transocean transgressions are forgiven. Sadly, he is mistaken.
The Deepwater Horizons disaster is firmly etched in the American conscience as an example of bumbling incompetence and haphazard, if not non-existent, leadership.
With Deepwater Horizons, Salazar's regulators failed. Interior even had BP nominated for a safety award at the same time the hole was belching tens of thousands of barrels of oil a day. Salazar may have attempted to scrub that fact from Interior's website, but it doesn't detract from the fact that corruption and incompetence in his department shared responsibility for the disaster.
Salazar and Obama have tried to sell the failure to regulate as meaning limited regulation has failed. Failure of regulators would place blame on them and they can't have that.
Salazar and Obama's thinly veiled attempt at political cover by instituting a six-month moratorium on off-shore drilling was exposed as just that — cover — when it came out that Salazar falsely implied support for the moratorium from an expert panel brought in to advise the Obama administration on how to deal with offshore drilling safety.
That political parasol may have cost Louisiana alone up to 20,000 jobs.
Now Salazar should lose his.
Salazar has tried to salvage his oily reputation by engratiating himself to his environmental patrons, fighting energy production wherever he can. It's got to the point that federal judges are holding him in contempt for his “dismissive conduct” over approving oil permits in the Gulf.
Even today, Salazar is in a very public debate with one of the agencies under his control about whether (or not) negotiations are ongoing with BP to allow the energy titan back into the Gulf. Salazar says there are no negotiations with BP, his agency says there are negotations with BP, and the public is left wondering who in the Hell is in charge over at Interior.
In his newfound love for regulation Salazar may be simpatico with Obama, but beyond that shared ideology Salazar lacks any political cache with the man in the Oval Office.
Or with the public, where Salazar has a 16 percent approval rating.
Or with Bill Clinton, who made Salazar into political mulch when he chastised the administration Salazar serves last month for processing permits with glatial dispatch.
Cabinet officials serve at the pleasure of the President, meaning their influence and impact is predicated on their having the President's trust and confidence.
Salazar decidedly doesn't have that anymore. Lame ducks don't belong in that position.
Not when gas is making a mad dash to $4 a gallon.
With the Middle East coming apart at the seams we simply cannot afford to have an Interior Secretary who cannot clearly communicate and advocate for an effective domestic energy policy.
As Coloradans and Americans we are angry that Salazar has done virtually nothing to help the country access what the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates is 800 billion barrels of oil shale just in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. At current US demand, that would be enough to meet US needs for 110 years.
Salazar has instead embraced his green buddies with a sue and settle open mouth kiss, a ploy that will make future R&D impossible, and the conversion to a commercial oil shale program even more so. Nowhere else in the history of human development can we remember asking “what would Estonia do”?
What Salazar has utilized the BLM for is making unilateral decrees on “wild lands” designations, essentially deciding that he would be the chief arbiter of federal land, rather than allow the people's representatives in Congress to decide how the people's land should be utilized.
This obstructionist stance towards domestic energy cannot be allowed to stand.
The economy will be unable to gasp the fresh air of recovery if oil prices continue to rise and drown the hopes of growth. No corner of the economy can escape the devastation dealt by high energy prices.
We need a reset. A fresh face. Change you can believe in. Someone new. Someone else.
If you agree with us and think it's time to fire Salazar, then go the Fire Salazar Facebook page and click “like.”
Share it with your friends, your family and whomever else you think would like to see some change.
It's time for Barack Obama to “Drill, Baby, Drill.” We say he should start with Ken Salazar.