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Secretary Salazar Discusses Department’s FY2010 Budget at Senate Interior Appropriations Committee


Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified today before the Senate Interior Appropriations Committee, outlining the administrations proposed fiscal year 2010 budget. The budget emphasizes the priorities of creating a new energy frontier, protecting treasured landscapes, creating a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corp and empowering Indian Country.

Topic / Summary / Transcript
Topic: President Obama and Secretary Salazar seek to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF has only been fully funded twice in its 45 year existence.
"The fact is last year we raised about $24 billion through the activities of the Minerals Management Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and at the end of the day there were only somewhere around $250 million that went into the land and water conservation fund. And so I look forward to working with both of you, working with the White House, working with our colleagues in the House to take a moon shot with respect to investing in the treasured landscapes of America."

Topic: Secretary Salazar addressed concerns about siting of wind and solar power while protecting treasured landscapes.
"As we move forward with turning the new page in developing solar and wind and geothermal energy, that we have to do it in a way that is thoughtful, that is not helter-skelter, that essentially makes sure that we’re protecting the treasured landscapes of America. Going back to Senator Alexander’s statement with respect to oil and gas development, we have to have that same kind of approach with respect to renewable energy projects. Right now the 240 applications that you speak about, many of those applications were pending when I came into office. There was not any kind of significant planning process with respect to renewable energy in the Department of Interior frankly because it had not been prioritized."

Topic: Secretary Salazar said that the new energy frontier will also bring jobs with it.
"I want us to continue to underscore the connection between the new energy world and jobs here in the United States. We expect that hundreds of thousands of jobs can in fact be developed with respect to the renewable energy industry. We have approximately 160,000 jobs today in America that you can connect up to both the solar and wind industry."