Washington Briefs: Salazar steps down at Interior

04 08, 2013 by The Advocate

Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has had his ups and downs with the Louisiana congressional delegation, including the much-debated offshore drilling moratorium after the 2010 BP oil tragedy.

Before leaving, Salazar had one last online video chat last week with the media before giving way to his successor, Sally Jewell, who is awaiting Senate confirmation.

Salazar bemoaned the impact of federal budget cuts on his agency. He also continued to tout President Barack Obama’s “all-of-the-above” energy production strategy.

He also said domestic oil-and-gas production has increased under Obama. While true, that fact remains a point of contention with the Louisiana delegation because most of the increases have occurred on private lands.

Salazar also took shots at the condition the agency was in when he inherited it from the Bush administration.

“The department was downtrodden. Science was forgotten,” Salazar said. “It was basically a place where oil-and-gas leases were being handed out willy-nilly.”

He also offered some advice for Jewell: “Enjoy the job,” Salazar said. “We get to see the world. … It is truly a joyful journey.”