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Why Ken Salazar Is Fuming

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Ken Salazar doesn’t get worked up too often, but his ire has been stoked by congressional Republicans who are blocking the appointment of David Hayes as Salazar’s deputy secretary in the Interior Department. Salazar has accused GOP senators of “bitter obstructionism” for holding up Hayes’ appointment, according to The Denver Post.

But the Republicans don’t have a beef with Hayes: As New West writes, they’re launching a “mini protest” against Salazar and his decisions as Interior chief so far. Utah Senator Bob Bennett is leading the charge because Salazar canceled oil-and-gas leases in his home state. Salazar blasts the tactics as “the height of cynicism.”

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Ray Ring of High Country News thinks Bennett, a centrist by Utah standards, is courting far-right voters to protect himself in a primary next year, which basically means that radical Republicans call the shots for the party’s environmental agenda. Senate Democrats could try to get Hayes into the deputy job again next week when a few party members get back to D.C.

Meanwhile, angry oil companies are suing Salazar for revoking the leases, according to The Associated Press.

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