President-elect Barack Obama's pick to lead the Interior Department told senators Thursday he would work to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil. Colorado Senator Ken Salazar told the Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the shift could be made by expanding renewable energy on public lands in the United States. He also talked about the huge potential to develop solar energy during an exchange with Senator Bernie Sanders, a leading Senate backer of solar power. The Interior Department manages 500 million acres of public land, much of it in the nation's sunny southwest. The department is charged with protecting wildlife and endangered species, and also developing energy resources.
To watch Senators Sanders and Salazar discuss solar energy, click here.