Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton’s campaign caused quite a stir when it announced the appointment of Ken Salazar to the candidate's transition team. Salazar, a former interior secretary and a former Democratic U.S. senator for Colorado, has what one writer has called a “maligned track record on climate.” Salazar has expressed support for fracking and the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the past.
Recently, as noted by Naomi LaChance of The Intercept, Clinton declared her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and “took a more critical position” on fracking. Yet, “as a senator, Salazar was widely considered a reliable friend to the oil, gas, ranching and mining industries,” LaChance writes. “As interior secretary, he opened the Arctic Ocean for oil drilling, and oversaw the botched response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Since returning to the private sector, he has been an ardent supporter of the TPP, while pushing back against curbs on fracking.”
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of "Democracy Now!" dive deeper into Salazar’s politics in an interview with David Sirota, senior editor for investigations at International Business Times. Sirota explains that the beliefs of those working on Clinton’s transition team are “very important to understanding what may be coming in a Clinton administration policywise and whether those policies in a Clinton administration will reflect the policy promises from Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.”
Sirota notes that Salazar’s appointment concerns progressives, because Salazar’s environmental policy background “complicates the questions of where Hillary Clinton and her administration may be on trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” He continues:
[W]hat we do know is that he will have a very serious hand in helping staff the Clinton administration, that he will have a hand in helping put personnel into the administration across the federal government. Whether he has litmus tests, whether he brings in people who he’s close to from his own politics, that will be a question. It will be a big question for Hillary Clinton.
They also discuss a possible conflict of interest between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. “[D]o we know that money went into the Clinton Foundation from interests that had business before the State Department?” Sirota asks. “Absolutely.”
Watch the full interview below:
—Posted by Emma Niles