Interior Secretary Ken Salazar leaving

9:10 AM, Jan 16, 2013   |    comments
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  • MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 11: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks during a tourism and conservation discussion with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce on January 11, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Salazar answered questions on the federal government possible campaign to persuade people to come to America for the so called 'Medical tourism.' (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Salazar has run the Interior Department throughout President Barack Obama's first term.

Before joining the Cabinet, he served as a senator from Colorado. Salazar is the latest Cabinet secretary to leave the administration as Obama heads into his second term.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis are also leaving.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made.

Statement by the President on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement that he will return to Colorado:

I want to thank Ken for his hard work and leadership on behalf of the American people. As the Secretary of the Interior, Ken has helped usher in a new era of conservation for our nation's land, water, and wildlife. Ken has played an integral role in my Administration's successful efforts to expand responsible development of our nation's domestic energy resources. In his work to promote renewable energy projects on our public lands and increase the development of oil and gas production, Ken has ensured that the Department's decisions are driven by the best science and promote the highest safety standards. Ken has also made historic strides in strengthening our nation to nation relationship with Indian Country, helping to resolve longstanding disputes and make tribal communities safer and stronger. I have valued Ken's friendship since we both entered the Senate in 2005, and I look forward to receiving his counsel even after he returns to his home state of Colorado.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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