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STATEMENT: CAP’s Goldfuss and Conathan on Resignation of Secretary Salazar

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Contact: Christina DiPasquale
Phone: 202.481.8181

Washington, D.C. — Today, following the announcement that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar would leave his post in March, the Center for American Progress released the following statement from Public Lands Project Director Christy Goldfuss and Director of Ocean Policy Michael Conathan:

“Secretary Salazar was a dedicated public servant who should be commended for overseeing a resurgence of the responsible management of increased oil and gas drilling on public lands while prioritizing the conservation of public lands and expanding their use for renewable energy development to a level exceeding all previous administrations combined,” said Christy Goldfuss, Public Lands Project Director at the Center for American Progress. “Championing a new model of conservation, which focused on partnerships with private landowners and states that benefit from their immense economic and cultural value, Secretary Salazar established seven new national parks and 10 new national wildlife refuges. His actions provided an unquantifiable benefit to local economies, greatly furthered our push toward energy independence, and preserved our national heritage for generations to come.”

“Secretary Salazar’s legacy will reflect his tremendous leadership in the responsible stewardship of our waters. Following BP’s disastrous 2010 oil spill, Secretary Salazar stood up to the industry and issued a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico until reforms could be put in place,” said Michael Conathan, Director of Ocean Policy at the Center for American Progress. “He recognized a clear deficiency of oversight and responded by creating two new agencies with distinct responsibilities for permitting and enforcement. He also prioritized offshore renewable energy development, issuing the first-ever offshore wind leases in federal waters. Most recently, by initiating a review of Shell’s Arctic Ocean drilling operations, he has shown a willingness to acknowledge the deficiencies in that process.”

To speak with Christy Goldfuss or Michael Conathan, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or


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