Salazar’s hearing before Senate Committe-

Sounds like any generic, old school Western Democrat that has been in this “saddle” many times before-

Ken Salazar promises reform at Interior Department. LA Times. By Jim Tankersley

Barack Obama criticized — again — over pick of Ken Salazar as Interior secretary. By Pete Thomas. LA Times.

I should add that there are those who say many of Obama’s cabinet choices will not have a lot of freedom of action because the big decisions will be made by advisors at higher levels closer to the President. This can be good or bad, depending on the advisors, the President and the issue.

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

7 Responses to Ken Salazar promises reform at Interior Department

  1. avatar JimT says:

    Taking a look at the flavor of the Obama picks so far across the board, it is looking more and more like Clinton Redux, both in personnel and culture. In some ways, the Salazar nomination “set up” the green groups and activists to look like whining kids who didn’t get the GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip for Christmas. So, attention gets deflected from the real environmental tragedies that need to be addressed…probably thousands of fires of varying intensities that need putting out..and mistakenly put on the protesters of the Salazar nomination as “those enviros..it is never enough with them.”

    Get rid of the hat, Ken. Makes you look like a dolt.

    If Ken just stays as a figurehead, goes to press conferences, and presides over ceremonies, we will be lucky because the real work can be done by the agency appointees, their staff, and most importantly, the front line folks who are at the front lines–assuming the appointees are interested in correcting the abuses of the last 8 years, and not resume building. But Emanuel is a control guy and big on loyalty to the exclusion of substantive considerations, and that gives me great pause when contrasted with Obama’s promise to listen to all sides equally, and the presence of so many of the Clintonites with their propensity to measure the political winds and run to the center instead of standing on principle, law, and science..Campaign rhetoric? Time will tell.

  2. avatar Salle says:

    Perhaps Emanuel’s loyalty concerns will work in favor of keeping folks like Salazar on task and in step with Obama’s even-headed ideas rather than running rogue and NOT following directives from the Oval office, maybe…

  3. avatar Salle says:

    Here’s the NYT article, some called the hearing a “bouquet tossing” event. I don’t like his vague style…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/us/politics/16salazar.html

    At least he took that damned hat off!

  4. avatar kt says:

    If you are interested in hearing the Salazar Confirmation hearing yesterday, this Link is working – Just go part way through it with that bar at the bottom – then move back and forth.

    So much back patting and collegiality!

    If you are a glutton for punishment, here is the Video Link:

    It doesn’t start for a LONG time, but there is indeed something there.

    Around Minute 90 at that link, Brasso from WY asks Salazar about wolves. Gets a non-answer. Salazar doesn’t know enough about the rule issued yesterday, blah, blah …

    I clicked on the time bar at around 160 min. WY Senator was questioning, let drop that he and Salazar had been at “Prayer Breakfast” with Salazar then Barasso asked about public lands grazing.

    I haven’t listened to all of it yet.

    http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.LiveStream&Hearing_id=a71b30a7-b055-ab47-6d85-2229e2122bd3

    Also – Paul Krugman seems like someone who might be willing to tackle this: “Do we need transmission lines EVERYWHERE, or a different energy network centered around smaller locally and home-generated energy?”. Since Hilary Clinton talked about Smart Power, Interior needs to do Smart Power too – and of course the two meanings of power are interdependent. I for one do not think that huge remote sited wind, solar, and powerlines butchering public lands is “Smart Power”. As suspected, a lot of talk at the Salazar hearing about energy, corridors, etc.hearing

  5. avatar Salle says:

    I agree kt.

    Also, I have “put in some hours” checking out the Citizen’s briefing Book segment of Change.gov and I noticed that several comments come close to the arguments in favor of localized generation by way of transmission routes placed along highways – sort of based on the imagery of the repoweramerica ad. Not a bad idea in some ways. Though just as many seemed to go for the use of massive plots of public lands.

    A lot suggested light rail and more mass transit but a few also ranted about Pickens’ plan which calls for lots of natural gas, over reliance on covering up public land and some more drilling. Reminds me a little of Richard Nixon, “turn down the heat and drive slower because I said so”.

    Anyway, Most folks are sort of “in the dark” on a lot of information about infrastructure. They have some abstract recognition with the subject matter but they don’t connect the dots about any realistic big picture. At least, that’s the impression I’m getting.

  6. avatar kt says:

    Tried posting this to the Demarcated Landscapes Blog Post about prairie dogs, but could not seem to do it.

    http://www.demarcatedlandscapes.com/2009/01/prairie-dogs-and-new-top-dog.html

    Anyway:

    On the tape of Salazar’s confirmation hearing, Byron Dorgan asks some dorky question about prairie dogs and a picnic area near and dear to him. Dorgan suggests a couple of 16 year old boys could take care of the problem … i.e ka-ping, ka-ping.

    Link to the same video as before:

    http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.LiveStream&Hearing_id=a71b30a7-b055-ab47-6d85-2229e2122bd3

  7. avatar JimT says:

    There is a small but excellent non profit in Boulder called Western Resource Advocates who is doing alot of the initial and groundbreaking work on transmission line issues. Check out their website, or contact their staff for more information.

    I believe the website is http://www.westernresourceadvocates.org

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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