Salazar steps down

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Secretary Ken Salazar. Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior.

In the wake of Lisa Jackson's departure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and amidst widespread speculation that Energy Secretary Steven Chu will leave his post within the next month, news of Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar's resignation is traveling fast.

Salazar will leave office at the end of March. Who will replace him remains unclear, although there is speculation.

What is clear is that the new official will need a thick skin to weather the inevitable controversy and criticism that comes with the job. The position inherently sets him/her up for both, as the lead on implementing the government's controversial rules on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public lands, as well as overseeing the push for Arctic drilling and permitting of renewable energy on federal land. Salazar's replacement will also need to manage a fundamental transformation in the country's energy outlook due, in part, to a huge surge in shale oil and gas development.

In terms of his work in renewable energy and ending the nation's dependence on foreign energy, Salazar's role will be a challenge to fill. Salazar has worked tirelessly to promote renewable energy sources and develop the nation's domestic energy resources, positioning the country on a path to energy independence.

– Barb