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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2008
CONTACT: David Willett, 202.675.6698
                 Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

Sierra Club Praises Salazar, Vilsack Nominations

Washington, D.C.—President-Elect Barack Obama today formally announced the nominations of Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado for Secretary of the Interior and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture.

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

Senator Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior:

"The Sierra Club is very pleased with the nomination of Ken Salazar to head the Interior Department.  As a Westerner and a rancher, he understands the value of our public lands, parks, and wildlife and has been a vocal critic of the Bush Administration's reckless efforts to sell-off our public lands to Big Oil and other special interests.  Senator Salazar has been a leader in protecting places like the Roan Plateau and he has stood up against the Bush's administration's dangerous rush to develop oil shale in Colorado and across the West. 

"Senator Salazar has also been a leading voice in calling for the development of the West's vast solar, wind, and geothermal resources.  He will make sure that we create the good-paying green jobs that will fuel our economic recovery without harming the public lands he will be charged with protecting.     

"Senator Salazar will inherit an agency that has suffered from a pervasive rot under the Bush administration due to widespread corruption, simple incompetence, and severe underfunding.  We are confident that Senator Salazar will work with President-Elect Obama to undo the damage of the Bush years and chart a course that will allow this vast agency to return to its proud legacy of protecting our last wild places, wildlife, and vast natural resources."

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture:

"The Sierra Club congratulates Governor Vilsack on his appointment to head the Department of Agriculture.  We look forward to working with him in this new role. With a Secretary Vilsack overseeing the National Forest System and the Conservation Reserve Program, we are optimistic that USDA can once again become a responsible steward of wilderness and vital habitat for wildlife.

"Governor Vilsack can play an important role in helping to bring about the clean energy economy in a way that benefits both farmers and rural communities and our environment.  The USDA can take lead in moving us past the corn-based ethanol of today toward the next-generation biofuels of tomorrow.  These next-generation biofuels will not just provide farmers with new sources of income and help us break our dangerous dependence on oil, but they will also help President-Elect Obama achieve his ambitious plans to tackle global warming."

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