“Today, the largest solar energy projects in the world are under construction on America’s public lands in the West, and we’ve issued the first leases for offshore wind in the Atlantic,” said Salazar in a statement. “I am proud of the renewable energy revolution that we have launched.”
Interior’s renewable push also has irked some environmentalists, who have challenged some projects in court under the Endangered Species Act. Environmentalists also have criticized Interior’s tentative approval last year of limited offshore drilling in Alaska’s Arctic seas. Interior is currently under pressure from green groups to declare a moratorium on Arctic drilling activity, following the accidental grounding of a Shell Oil Co. drilling rig off Alaska’s coast during a Dec. 31 storm.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.