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Begich Statement on News that DOI Secretary Salazar Will Step Down

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement after Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced he will return to Colorado this March after serving in the administration for four years:

“I just spoke with Secretary Ken Salazar and thanked him for his service and wished his family well. I have had the privilege of working with Secretary Salazar on a host of issues important to Alaska, including our critical efforts to open the Arctic Ocean to the first oil and gas drilling it has seen in 20 years. He has been a solid partner to our state when it comes to resource development. The progress we made on streamlining OCS permitting and exploration would not have happened without his leadership.” 

“While we have not seen eye to eye on every issue, he has taken the time to travel to Alaska many times, to listen to Alaskans and make decisions based on that homework. Few positions in the federal government have as much power over Alaska as secretary of the Interior, from being landlord to over 60% of our state to carrying the responsibility of maintaining the government-to-government relationship with the Alaska Native population.”

“Secretary Salazar has set a high standard for this important position.  I wish him and his wife, Esperanza, the best, and to look forward to working with his successor to keep moving forward on Alaska energy development.”

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