Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is the latest member of President Barack Obama's cabinet to resign, leaving the president with one more position to try to fill as he begins his second term.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday officially announced his plans to step down at the end of March.
Salazar, 57, said in a statement that he fulfilled a promise to President Barack Obama to serve four years at the helm of the Interior Department. "Colorado is and will always be my home. I look forward to returning to my family and Colorado after eight years in Washington, D.C.," Salazar said.
Obama praised Salazar, saying in a statement, "Ken has played an integral role in my administration’s successful efforts to expand responsible development of our nation’s domestic energy resources."
Salazar served four years as a Democratic senator from the state before joining the administration in 2009. As secretary he oversaw the dismantling of the scandal-tarred Minerals Management Service and the response to the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, while also pushing through the siting of renewable energy projects on federal lands.
"I have had the privilege of reforming the Department of the Interior to help lead the United States in securing a new energy frontier, ushering in a conservation agenda for the 21st century, and honoring our word to the nation’s first Americans," he said.
The Interior Department is the government agency that regulates and oversees America's natural resources, including things as varied as offshore drilling and national parks.
The Cabinet essentially runs the federal government, as it is comprised of all the heads of the major governmental agencies and departments. It acts as an advisory body to the president and carries out his orders for the workings of the Executive Branch.