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Updated on October 22, 2010

Can anyone believe anything Ken salazar says?

 When Ken Salazar lied to the world on April 28 of 2010 as he spoke of the conditions he had placed on his Cape Wind approval he destroyed his credibility for ever and in all things offical. Salazar betrayed us all as he spoke from the podium in the Massachusetts state house. Only eight days before this outrageous performance the deepest ever oil drilling operation had blown out in the Gulf of Mexico because the multiple failures of oversight and permit review within Salazar's Department of Interior had allowed greed-driven cost cutting by BP and its contractors. Inferior equipment was managed by incompetent operators. The results were predictable and catastrophic.

Salazar is the ultimate authority over all public lands under federal ownership and over the entire outer continental shelf where untold mineral resources beckon exploitation. Should we allow this consumate liar to hold our national treasure in his grip? Can we ever again believe Ken Salazar, about anything?

While Salazar's clearly biased approach to the Cape Wind matter is reprehensible, we should be as concerned about relying on his integrity and willingness to act appropriately in matters such as timber leases, oil and gas exploration and especially in the Deepwater Horizon case where damages are known to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars already and liability is clear. If Ken Salazar is willing to lie on the record about Cape Wind, what will stop him from lying whenever he feels that to do so is an acceptable ploy on the path to to accomplishing his goals and those of the many interests seeking to exploit America's public resources? Ask Liz Birnbaum if Ken Salazar is a stand up guy.

Salazar's abrupt firing of Liz Birnbaum whom he personally selected to head the Minerals Management Service shows that he will throw even his closest people to the wolves to save his own skin. What emerges from Ken Salazar's first two years in office as Secretary of the Interior is an ugly image: a man who cannot be trusted to honor his sworn duties, a man who will lie on the record and a man who places his own survival above  his sworn duty and a man who will evade accountability at the expense of those who trusted him. Add to these grotesque features the simple fact that Ken Salazar is an unworthy steward of public lands and resources and one quickly comes to the conclusion that there is a total failure of oversight within the Obama administration. Either he has conned the president or Mr. Obama does not care. The self proclaimed "new sheriff in town" is nothing more than a self-motivated gun slinger.

Nothing changed at Interior under Salazar except the names on several office doors. Inept review of energy project applications allowed profiteers to prosper at the expense of reason and the environment. The lack of a comprehensive national energy policy remains unchanged and money-driven exploiters such as Jim Gordon have access to the very core of American government and to the vast treasures lying beneath our lands and our seas. When reason and fact and law indicate that projects such as Cape Wind and Deepwater Horizon either should not be granted permits or should be very carefully scrutinized and managed...the Ken Salazars of this world simply lie to justify their own poor decisions or blame others when the predictable worst happens.

Ken Salazar is not a leader. He is an empty promise. His is not the ethical conduct of public office. His is not the legitimate exercise of executive power. But, an all too willing press enables such men, protects them, encourages them. So do we, all of us. When we are made aware of the truth of a Cape Wind for example but do not write letters to or call both the press who coddle such menaces and the government officials who allow them to succeed we become accessories to our own destruction. We should all be demanding an explanation from the *Boston Globe and all the other national press outlets who for nine years have ignored fact and avoided legitimate analysis. The Globe, for example, has been stoking the pro-Cape Wind fires for years, not once telling its readers that a brother of a former partner of Jim Gordon had been and editorial consultant to the Globe. The Globe gave its blessing to utterly incorrect cost projections , denying their readers and advertisers the available knowledge that Cape Wind and indeed all other planned offrshore wind farms would raise electric rates, raise them far more for their advertisers' rate classes than for even residential customers.

If I were a car dealer, or a chain of stores or a hotel or theater or restaurant paying tens of thousands of dollars a month for electricity I might want to have a talk with the Globe's management about their consistent failure to tell the truth about Cape Wind before I allow one of their advertisng sales people to spin me another yarn about how placing my ads in the Globe will benefit me. It will certainly benefit the Globe and Jim Gordon but it seems to me that such a transaction is roughly the same as paying my own executioner. 

When will see the Globe run this headline, "SALAZAR LIED ABOUT CAPE WIND."? We might just as well ask when will we hear Ken Salazar tell the truth about Cape Wind. We deserve better than Ken Salazar.

*Let us not forget the foolishness and clearly biased material printed about Cape Wind by Boston Magazine in July of 2009


COPYRIGHT 2010 By Peter A. Kenney


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