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Opinion
Editorial: Dirk Kempthorne arrives in Washington


"Dirk Kempthorne's chief task as the new secretary of the interior is to resurrect his department's long tradition of responsible stewardship of the public lands. That guiding philosophy has been seriously breached only twice, during the dismal Reagan years and again during the tenure of Gale Norton, the person Mr. Kempthorne succeeds.

With Vice President Dick Cheney cheering from the sidelines, Ms. Norton replaced the department's conservation ethic with policies that favored commercial exploitation of the vast publicly owned resources the department manages, which amount to one-fifth of the nation's land. Redressing the balance will not only bring praise from the usual suspects in the environmental community, it will also win the admiration of many of Mr. Kempthorne's fellow Republicans.

Unless he has been sound asleep during his years as Idaho's governor, Mr. Kempthorne must surely know that the administration's headlong rush to drill for oil and gas throughout the Rocky Mountain West ignited rebellious feelings among legions of President Bush's natural constituents, including ranchers worried about the impact on their land and water, and hunters and anglers who feared the destruction of landscapes rich with wildlife."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Dirk Kempthorne Arrives (The New York Times 6/13)
pwnyt

Relevant Links:
Interior Department - http://www.doi.gov

White House Announcement:
President Bush Nominates Dirk Kempthorne as Interior Secretary (March 16, 2006)

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