Cantwell Statement on Retirement of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement after Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced he will be stepping down in March.

“Secretary Salazar’s work as caretaker of our nation’s public lands will be remembered for generations,” said Cantwell. “Secretary Salazar never forgot his Western roots as he created a blueprint for conservation in the 21st century. Ken has been a leader on protecting our natural treasures, bringing the long-standing Cobell case to a close, and finding new opportunities to grow the clean energy economy.

“As I worked with Ken in the U.S. Senate and at the Department of the Interior, he always tackled challenges head on. After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill wreaked havocon Gulf Coast coastal communities, Secretary Salazar ensured that those responsible were held accountable and strengthened our nation’s oil spill response safety net.

“I’ve appreciated working with Ken on vital issues to Washington state: from the historic Elwha River restoration project, to increasing the reliability of the water supply in the Yakima Basin, to preserving the history of the Hanford B Reactor, to preserving treasured lands on the San Juan Islands. We honor Secretary Salazar’s commitment to conserving our nation’s precious natural resources and wish him all the best as he begins a new chapter back home in Colorado.”