Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today will announce his resignation from President Barack Obama‚??s cabinet effective in March to spend more time with his family in Colorado.
The resignation has been widely anticipated, as the former Colorado senator has been spending most weekends in his home state since before Obama was reelected in November.
Salazar‚??s tenure was marked by numerous controversial actions at the agency, including the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico for which environmentalists criticized him for a slow response to the disaster.
He was later criticized by Republican lawmakers for overreacting to the spill by enacting a moratorium on all drilling creating an economic hardship on the already struggling region.
Last month, Salazar was criticized for shutting down the Drakes Bay Oyster Company in California in order to revert the tidal inlet to a wilderness state.
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Salazar was not a fan of Republican lawmakers either, and during a speech at the National Press Club last year compared them to members of the Flat Earth Society.
Obama acknowledged the resignation in a prepared statement, and praised Salazar for helping him to usher in a new era of conservation.
‚??Ken has played an integral role in my administration‚??s successful efforts to expand responsible development of our nation‚??s domestic energy resources,‚?Ě Obama said. ‚??In his work to promote renewable energy projects on our public lands and increase the development of oil and gas production, Ken has ensured that the department‚??s decisions are driven by the best science and promote the highest safety standards.‚?Ě