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Greens call for Salazar's resignation

By Juliet Eilperin

In the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it was only a matter of time before someone asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to go.

A group of several dozen conservation groups and scientists -- including more than 30 who urged President Obama not to appoint Salazar in the first place -- are now calling for his resignation.

WildEarth Guardians, an environmental group based in Santa Fe and Denver, has begun circulating a letter calling on Obama to fire Salazar on the grounds that he has failed to restore scientific integrity to the Minerals Management Service and the Interior Department as a whole.

Noting that 36 of the signatories had sent a letter in January 2009 urging Obama not to appoint Salazar to the post, the environmentalists write: "The intervening 16 months, unfortunately, have confirmed that Mr. Salazar will not fulfill your administration's promises to safeguard the environment in this country or globally. Rather, Mr. Salazar has either embraced or failed to reform many of the destructive policies of the previous administration."

The groups signing the letter include several left-leaning green groups, such as the Buffalo Field Campaign and Public Lands Without Livestock, along with prairie dog advocates such as Prairie Dog Pals, the Midwest Prairie Dog Shelter and the Prairie Preservation Alliance.

Noting that Salazar had planned to clean up MMS, the activists write, "Today we know that real reform at MMS never happened. MMS continued its reckless lack of oversight of the oil and gas industry, this time in the form of rubberstamping off-shore oil and gas development."

When asked about the letter, Salazar spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff wrote in an e-mail, "The Secretary is devoting 100% of his time to the fight to protect the Gulf Coast from BP's oil spill and will not rest until the leak is stopped, the affected communities are made whole, and the Gulf Coast is restored."

Still, Nicole Rosmarino, wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians, said she was optimistic the president would replace Salazar.

"Between the oil-slicked waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the blood-stained Northern Rockies, more of us are demanding 'a new sheriff in town.' It is vital for Ken Salazar to turn over his badge to someone willing to face reckless industries with courage and strength," she wrote in an e-mail. "We will continue to remind Obama of this at every turn: It's time to give Ken Salazar his walking papers."

By

Juliet Eilperin

 |  May 25, 2010; 9:59 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Feds instruct BP to decrease its use of dispersants | Next: Wyden asks for Transocean investigation

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I'm no huge fan of Salazar but this is ridiculous. Using the oil spill as a platform criticize Salazar in order to draw attention to other completely unrelated environmental issues is betrayal to Mother Earth.

This completely ridiculous move is only hurting the environmental movement, weakening bonds that should be strengthened and is symbolic of how fractured the green community is from the grassroots all the way to Washington.

Just a stupid stupid political move. There goes any traction these groups might of had with Federal Govt.

So lame.

Posted by: TheProblemsWeFaceWillNotBeSolvedByTheMindsThatCreatedThem | May 26, 2010 7:43 PM
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A very inept tea bagger said: "THE ONE WE NEED TO HAVE RESIGN IS OBAMA. HE IS TOTALLY IN OVER HIS HEAD. HE IS INEPT AND INCOMPENTENT AND OUR NATION IS SUFFERING IN EVERY AREA WITH HIM AS A PRESIDENT. NEVER AGAIN AN OJT PRESIDENT LIKE OBAMA. HOW MUCH MORE MUST OUR NATION SUFFER BEFORE WE ARE READY TO IMPEACH THIS FOOL?

First of all George Bush caused the entire BP fiasco by ignoring The Oil company greed (after all his daddy is one of the shareholders) and letting them skate by on safety regs. SHAME. Second Obama has actually done MORE for this country in 18 months than Dubya did in eight years. They should have impeached Bush and sent Rove to Jail.

Posted by: wheeler45 | May 25, 2010 11:40 PM
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He did not pounce on MMS as soon as he got in office, and there where strong reasons to do that. He does not seem to recognize the problem there. And his bluster about BP are ridiculous. Time for him to go. We need a stronger secretary.

Posted by: axolotl | May 25, 2010 7:58 PM
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Dirge for the age:
Dump oil on all BP workers!
Jail all BP workers for life
Strip all BP workers of their assets and use them for the clean up
Dismantle BP as a warning to other 'oilistas'
Jail all regulators for life
Fire salazar and burn his hat
Fire chu
Remove obama from the B(ack) P(ocket)
SOS! Save Other Species!!!! Stop the human greed!!!
Dump oil on all BP workers!
Jail all BP workers for life
Strip all BP workers of their assets and use them for the clean up
Dismantle BP as a warning to other 'oilistas'
Jail all regulators for life
Fire salazar and burn his hat
Fire chu
Remove obama from the B(ack) P(ocket)
SOS! Save Other Species!!!! Stop the human greed!!!
Dump oil on all BP workers!
Jail all BP workers for life
Strip all BP workers of their assets and use them for the clean up
Dismantle BP as a warning to other 'oilistas'
Jail all regulators for life
Fire salazar and burn his hat
Fire chu
Remove obama from the B(ack) P(ocket)
SOS! Save Other Species!!!! Stop the human greed!!!
SOS! Save Other Species!!!! Stop the human greed!!!
Voila a better world already!

Posted by: adelaney2 | May 25, 2010 7:32 PM
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Calling for Salazar's resignation offers a sideshow for enviros to glom on to. It's a distraction, nothing more.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no anti-enviro freak. I'm a home-birthing, organic-food eating, peak oil believing, Prius driving, anti-suburban walkability proponent with a penchant for trains. I also love Mother Nature and a well stocked food garden. Not to be too demographically drilled down, but I also support 2nd Amendment rights and I wear high heels, pearls, and dresses, every day. So put that in the pigeon hole calculus. My bigger point is, be savvy, folks, from eating health promoting sprouts to wearing legitimacy enhancing suits.

You start calling for heads to roll and guess what happens? The conversation turns into whose head is rolling. The blame game becomes the conversation of a devolving issue, at once a seductive needle point and a sideline irrelevancy.

The conversation NOW must be about oil in our economy. The pervasiveness of it. From its hidden (externalized costs) to its finite nature to its irreversible decline.

Name one thing beyond a nude walk that doesn't involve oil...even that presumes you're on heirloom native grasses and you just landed there in spontaneous manifestation.

Oil pervades every single thing we do in the modern age and I challenge anyone to refute that. The conversation on offshore drilling needs to be about why we have to drill offshore in the US in the first place? Guess what Flabby Limbaugh, it ain't because of the greenies. It's point blank and irreversibly because of Peak American Oil.

Saudi Arabia and other nations now routinely readjust their reserve holdings to stay in the ghost economy, but the truth is, they're also drilling horizontally in deep water. We're on the precipice of Peak World Oil, where demand exceeds supply. This is not pretty.

You think the economic mess is just about bad faith casino bankers? Welcome to the Oil Slide!

The gig is up and the conversation needs to be about what's next, about relocalizing, about prosperity amidst a downshift, about how to use the remaining oil to build the infrastructure of the next economy, about how to keep up transport, communication, trade, services, community, relations and social order in the midst of a paradigmatic energy shift. That is a boom conversation if we've got the guts to have it.

But sit around poo-pooing Salazar instead if you think that's gonna get us anywhere. Best I can see is a day's boring "entertainment" on C-Span, forgotten like a Tweet-ago's news, and then nothing to show for it but the door hitting Salazar on the way out. Next day, diverting business as usual.

Come on people. We can do so much better. We must!

Posted by: lindsaycurren | May 25, 2010 6:16 PM
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Oh, puhleeze...
Let's not forget that Obama took over the wheel of a ship that was upside down, backwards, and full of water from the Bush administration (the biggest indication to me that media is NOT "left-leaning" is that no one in the media seems to be pointing out that fact). In Salazar's case, he took over a department that was not only upside-down, backwards and full of water, the crew was made up 1/2 of industry insiders that were giving away the candy store, and 1/2 of scientific and technical people who were demoralized from having their technical opinions run over by administration politicos and their developer cronies.
Since Salazar has come into office, he has been working hard to get the ship right side up, and moving in the right direction. Speaking as one of the formerly demoralized technical people, it has been refreshing to the point of giddyness to be headed by an administration that allows science to have its proper say in setting the course.
MMS had been AMONG the priorities on Salazar's plate, but of course, since the blowout on April 20, responding to this spill has been his full-time job. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and one of the things the administration has to do is allow BP the chance to demonstrate that they know what to do, or alternatively, give them enough rope to hang themselves. Regarding a federal take-over of the spill, only BP really has the money and technical resources to deal with what is (let's not forget) THEIR f**k-up. Why on earth would we (the US Taxpayer, via our government) want to "take over" BP's problem? Doesn't anyone see this as a "bail-out" of BP, of massive proportions?? And to the extent that this problem is difficult to solve, why would the administration want to "take over" from the people who caused it? What they should be doing (which is what they ARE doing) is stepping up the pressure on, and oversight of, what BP is doing to stop the release, and afterwards, clean it up. BP has used up all of their credibility points, and the power arrangement in the Incident Command Center is much different than it was in the first week after this all started.

Posted by: cee2SLC | May 25, 2010 6:14 PM
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THE ONE WE NEED TO HAVE RESIGN IS OBAMA. HE IS TOTALLY IN OVER HIS HEAD. HE IS INEPT AND INCOMPENTENT AND OUR NATION IS SUFFERING IN EVERY AREA WITH HIM AS A PRESIDENT. NEVER AGAIN AN OJT PRESIDENT LIKE OBAMA. HOW MUCH MORE MUST OUR NATION SUFFER BEFORE WE ARE READY TO IMPEACH THIS FOOL?

Posted by: cdorbg | May 25, 2010 6:08 PM
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"Plug the Damn Hole". And we are going to let this administration run our Health Care?!?! Really? I think he needs to quote his VP which has a more appropriate quote: 'This is a big F'ing deal'.

Posted by: rigoman33 | May 25, 2010 5:43 PM
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Sec. Salazar's days in the Obama administration may be running out. His departure is overdue and would be widely welcomed. The Administration needs planners, managers and leaders, not cowboys. In the crisis over the Gulf of Mexico well blowout, all Mr. Salazar provided was bluster: a "boot on the neck of British Petroleum" and "we'll push them out of the way." Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, who is heading the federal response, dismissed the latter of those comments as "a metaphor."

Back at the ranch, Sec. Salazar is sipping cocktails on the verandah while the barn burns down. He was told by President Obama on April 30 to stop offshore oil leasing. The same day Presidential advisor David Axelrod said, "No additional drilling has been authorized, and none will until we find out what has happened." On May 4 Sec. Salazar said he had suspended offshore oil leases. However, news reports appearing over the next three weeks said offshore drilling permits were still flowing, including exemptions from environmental reviews.

Either Sec. Salazar has failed to do what President Obama ordered and expected, or Sec. Salazar is doing the President's bidding, and it is President Obama who should instead be faulted for negligence. As the long-running melodrama over Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair showed, Presidents almost always win in intramural mixups, and their appointees leave, for good or ill.

Posted by: AppDev | May 25, 2010 5:07 PM
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Contrary to what you FLVET, BS2004 and others of your ilk believe, "Eco-Wackos" are concerned about protecting YOUR environment from those who would trash it for their own big fat profit. We wackos are FOR maintaining the planet not ruining it. Eco people have nothing to gain materially from saving the environment - those who don't give a damn about it and take from it do so for their gain only. All that matters to the oil and gas companies, stripminers, polluters, etc. is their bank accounts, not your or your childrens' health - or lives.

Posted by: margaretpierson | May 25, 2010 5:04 PM
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.
Those of us that some of you call "Eco-Wackos" were oh-so right predicting horrible disaster, as you can now see has happened. Greed won the day. People lose and wildlife dies. Very very sad.

In my view, Salazar's head should roll. He was always too chummy with the energy industry, and voted against improved CAFE standards, and was against the repeal of tax breaks and government subsidies for oil producers.

Strong protection of the environment must be a prerequisite for any exploitation. It's time to throw the corrupt people to the wolves!
.

Posted by: transtique1 | May 25, 2010 3:37 PM
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Why don't the eco wackos call for Obama to quit? The buck stops at the top. Ecos are always against things and never really for anything.

Posted by: FLvet | May 25, 2010 3:04 PM
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Greens with support of informed Americans call for Salazar's resignation for good reason. Obama's Interior Secretary failed to restore integrity to the federal agency of Mineral Management Services and worst than that failure, Salazar did not accurately assess the disastrous effectives of the April 20,2010 BP oil spill.

Salazar’s incompetence and negligence has caused great damage to the American people. He has failed in his duties of office on three counts: did not assess safety measures of BP before drilling, did not accurately evaluate volume and impact of oil spill and the Interior Secretary was unresponsive in executing orders to stop oil spill and cleanup toxic oil substance penetrating all areas of land and sea.

American voters petition Congress and the White House for Salazar’s resignation.

Posted by: klausdmk | May 25, 2010 2:49 PM
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I'm sure Mr. Salazar is just quaking in his boots at the thought of having the prairie dog groups against him. And now that the buffalo's and no livestock people have joined in, he's surely a goner.

Does anyone actually listen to these people?

Posted by: VaBroker | May 25, 2010 2:45 PM
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Obama to Salazar - You are doing a fine job, Kenny.

Posted by: ashrink | May 25, 2010 2:42 PM
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i am not asking for salazar to resign. how can these groups ask for him to resign without asking for my input? just a bunch of hot aired libs in my humble conservative opinion.... as for Ms. Rosmarino, she certainly seems like the new Hemingway, asking for a new sheriff in town... she might just get the Nobel Prize for Literature for her way with words, just like her mentor Big Al Gore (Big House Gore) got the Prize too.

Posted by: RoguesPalace | May 25, 2010 2:41 PM
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Prediction:

Obama will make Salazar walk the Rev Wright walk.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | May 25, 2010 2:26 PM
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Congress does not allow permits. Congress makes areas availble for lease, allows areas to be put up for bid for exploration. Permitting is entirely different.

Interesting that many signatories also opposed Salazar initially. Isn't this like condemning the farmer for the drought, two years after taking over an unproductive field.

Posted by: jmdziuban1 | May 25, 2010 2:22 PM
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The signatories are nuts.

Next!

Posted by: bs2004 | May 25, 2010 2:21 PM
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You left out Congress who allowed the drilling permits, and did not recall or repeal their error.

Posted by: dottydo | May 25, 2010 2:04 PM
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Call on the netherland .Holland . they have been saving land from the sea for centuries. They build there land under "Waterlevel".

Posted by: sigup | May 25, 2010 2:03 PM
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