Wednesday, December 17, 2008



Gov. Bill Ritter today congratulated U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar on his nomination to serve in President-elect Obama's Cabinet as Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
"As a fifth-generation Coloradan and a true son of the West, no one understands the natural-resource challenges and opportunities facing the United States better than Ken Salazar. He has spent his entire career – in the Romer administration, as a co-founder of Great Outdoors Colorado, as Colorado's attorney general and as a United States Senator – gaining the expertise, knowledge and sound judgment that will make him one of the best Interior Secretaries in U.S. history.
"Over the past four years in the Senate, he has served Colorado well as a moderate and a centrist. He has been a champion ofColorado's New Energy Economy and he has brought much-needed clarity and balance to complex issues such as domestic energy drilling, land management and water. I will miss him in the Senate, but I look forward to working with him in his new role as we rebuild and reinvigorate the federal-state partnership. This is great for Colorado, for the West and for the country."
The Department of the Interior oversees about 14 percent of Colorado's 66.4 million surface acres and 41 percent of the subsurface federal mineral estate acres.
Gov. Ritter said he will act swiftly to identify and appoint a replacement in the Senate.
"In the coming days, I will work thoughtfully, deliberately and quickly to identify a successor to Sen. Salazar," Gov. Ritter said. "With the economy in crisis and many other important issues facing the next Congress and the new Obama administration, Colorado must have the best talent at the U.S. Capitol."