U.S Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that he is resigning from his job and moving back to his home state of Colorado by the end of March.
While the former Colorado senator has frequently spoken of how much he enjoys his work as the county’s top manager of public lands, Salazar said he needs to return home to help his wife take care of their 5-year-old granddaughter who has been diagnosed with autism.
“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,” Salazar said in a statement today.
On Salazar’s watch, the U.S. Depaprtment of the Interior created 10 national wildlife refuges and seven national parks, and gave the go-ahead to 34 alternate-energy projects on public land.
Additionally, when Deepwater Horizon, a BP-operated deep water oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded in April 2010, pouring about 53,000 gallons of crude oil a day into the ocean for three months, Salazar declared a moratorium on new offshore drilling leases.
“In his work to promote renewable energy projects on our public lands and increase the development of oil and gas production, Ken has ensured that the Department’s decisions are driven by the best science and promote the highest safety standards," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "Ken has also made historic strides in strengthening our nation to nation relationship with Indian Country, helping to resolve longstanding disputes and make tribal communities safer and stronger.”
Salazar’s departure leaves President Barack Obama’s Cabinet without any Latino members. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned last week.