Should Ken Salazar Resign Over the BP Oil Spill?

June 1 2010, 9:45 AM

The huge BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has placed Interior Secretary Ken Salazar "on the political hot seat," The Wall Street Journal notes. On one hand, many Republicans are pressuring him not to use the spill as a reason to slow or halt domestic oil production. On the other, Democrats want deep-sea oil drilling to stop. Meanwhile, some other critics say Salazar hasn't done enough since taking over his department in early 2009 to overhaul the Mineral Management Service, which has been seen as too cozy with the oil industry. But, the harshest of Salazar's critics are dozens of environmental groups that have, according to The Huffington Post, signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to fire Salazar. The letter alleges Salazar "has either embraced or failed to reform many of the destructive policies of the previous administration." The New York Times explores why the administration failed to order a full overhaul at MMS. Salazar has dubbed himself a new sheriff of the department---which faced scandals in the Bush era---issuing new ethics guidelines and eliminating a controversial royalty program. "But, it is now clear that he did little else, focusing his energies elsewhere, for example on offshore wind projects," according to the Times. 5280's Maximillian Potter profiled then-Senator Salazar about two years ago in "No Más Mustache."