Groups Calling For Ken Salazar To Resign

Salazar Named Interior Secretary 16 Months Ago

More than 100 scientists and environmental groups have signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to fire former Colorado Senator, now Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

However, the Washington Post reported more than 30 of the protestors urged Obama not to appoint Salazar in the first place.

"Mr. Salazar’s failure to clean up Interior is why we’re seeing the mess in the Gulf," Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians said in the release sent to 7NEWS and other media outlets. "We need serious mopping up within this department, and it should start with Salazar leaving."

Last week, Elizabeth Birnbaum quit under pressure as head of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, the agency that oversees offshore oil drilling, according to the Huffington Post.

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, called Birnbaum's ouster "a scapegoat firing."

"A drastic overhaul of not just MMS, but the Department of the Interior is needed to make sure that the catastrophic regulatory failures that fueled the Gulf drilling disaster are not repeated," he wrote in a statement.

When asked about the letter, Salazar spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff wrote in an e-mail to the Washington Post, "The Secretary is devoting 100% of his time to the fight to protect the Gulf Coast from BP's oil spill and will not rest until the leak is stopped, the affected communities are made whole, and the Gulf Coast is restored."

Many of those signing the letter represent smaller, more regional conservation groups, according to the Grand Junction Sentinel. The newspaper said that some, such as the Wolf Recovery Foundation, promote predator species, while several advocate on behalf of wild horses, which Interior manages.