Western business group commends Salazar nomination to Interior

Western business leaders today commended the decision by President-elect Barak Obama to select U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) to head the Department of the Interior...

• Says U.S. Senate should ignore calls by environmental extremist groups wanting to derail the nomination

LAKEWOOD, CO, Dec. 17, 2008 -- Western business leaders today commended the decision by President-elect Barak Obama to select U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) to head the Department of the Interior.

"Ken Salazar is a uniquely qualified Western voice for the full range of Western issues and challenges under the management of the Department of the Interior," said Roundtable Executive Director Britt Weygandt. "We look forward to continuing to find areas of agreement with the Obama Administration and particularly with our new Secretary of the Interior on water, public lands, energy policy and endangered species regulation."

"We know that we will get a fair hearing even on those issues where we disagree, because that's the kind of guy Ken Salazar is," Weygandt added.

Weygandt expressed disappointment that "a few self-styled environmental groups are already attacking the Salazar nomination." She pointed to press reports today saying that the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project launched "last-ditch" campaigns yesterday trying to derail the Salazar nomination.

"Ken Salazar listens to all sides of an issue. It's unfortunate that there are extremist groups in the West that don't admire that quality in our government leaders. We do. We urge the U.S. Senate to view the actions and recommendations of these extremist groups for what they are, and to vote to approve Senator Salazar as the new Secretary of the Interior."

Weygandt noted that the Western Business Roundtable has worked with Senator Salazar on a number of issues, including water policy, "Good Samaritan" abandoned mine legislation and clean coal and carbon capture technology development issues.

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