Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar (D) has been chosen to serve as secretary of interior, rounding out the energy and environment team formally introduced by President-elect Barack Obama on Monday afternoon. The Obama camp has not officially announced the pick, but transition officials have confirmed it.
Salazar has served in the Senate since 2005, where he has been a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Agriculture Committee. He has vocally opposed Bush administration moves to open up land in Colorado and other Western states to oil-shale development.
Salazar was raised on a ranch in Colorado, and farmed for 30 years. He and his wife also owned several small businesses, including a Dairy Queen and radio stations. Before entering politics, he was a private-sector attorney focusing on water and environmental law, and from 1987 to 1994 he was chief legal counsel to Colorado Gov. Roy Romer (D) and executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. From 1999 to 2005, Salazar was the attorney general of Colorado. His predecessor as state AG, Gale Norton, was Bush’s first secretary of the interior.
Salazar got a score of 85 percent from the League of Conservation Voters for the 110th Congress, and has an 81 percent lifetime score.