Tough Tasks for Salazar at Interior

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A high priority, we hope, will be a reversal of rules governing oil shale deposits on nearly 2 million acres of public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

As a senator, he said the Bush administration rules set royalty rates that amounted to a "pittance." During a meeting Thursday with The Post's editorial board, he spoke generally about the wisdom of moving in a "thoughtful and deliberate way" on oil shale.

We realize the secretary has been on the job only 10 days at this point, but we hope he eventually advocates a reversal of the rules. The issue is more properly addressed when there is viable commercial oil shale exploration.