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U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar has announced that he will step down from the post at the end of March.

Salazar has been instrumental in promoting and streamlining the process for renewable energy development on federal lands. Since 2009, the DOI has authorized a total of 34 wind, solar and geothermal energy projects representing a combined capacity of 10.4 GW, including the massive Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, a 3 GW wind farm planned for southeastern Wyoming.

Salazar also established the nation’s first program for offshore wind leasing and permitting.

“Today, the largest solar energy projects in the world are under construction on America’s public lands in the West, and we’ve issued the first leases for offshore wind in the Atlantic,” Salazar says. “I am proud of the renewable energy revolution that we have launched.”

Upon leaving the DOI, Salazar will return to his home state of Colorado. A fifth-generation Coloradoan, he has served his state and the nation for 14 continuous years as Colorado attorney general, U.S. senator and the 50th secretary of the DOI.

President Barack Obama has not yet named a successor.


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