Is Ken Salazar the next head to roll, as a result of the gulf oil disaster? Last week, Elizabeth Birnbaum quit under pressure as head of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, the agency that oversees offshore oil drilling, but critics are now turning their ire on the Interior Secretary himself.
Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, called Birnbaum's ouster "a scapegoat firing". "A drastic overhaul of not just MMS, but the Department of the Interior is needed to make sure that the catastrophic regulatory failures that fueled the Gulf drilling disaster are not repeated," he wrote in a statement.
Thirty-six environmental groups have signed a letter calling on Obama to send Salazar packing. "The intervening 16 months, unfortunately, have confirmed that Mr. Salazar will not fulfill your administration's promises to safeguard the environment in this country or globally," the letter states. "Rather, Mr. Salazar has either embraced or failed to reform many of the destructive policies of the previous administration."
"How does he still have a job?" asks columnist David Sirota. "Ironically, two of the people who have been most integrally involved in destroying the Gulf Coast live in Colorado -- 'Heckuva Job [Michael Brown] Brownie', and 'Heckuva Job Kennie Salazar'."