Last week U.S. Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton resigned amidst rumblings of scandal regarding purported connections between her department and disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Many environmentalists applauded her departure due to her appalling record for supporting corporate interests and being unable to bridge the ever-expanding gap between big business and environmental advocacy.
While financial incentives encouraged private investment in land preservation and generated praise from The Nature Conservancy, Norton’s record is largely one of exploitation and promoting Right-Wing interests. Famous for opening Yellowstone to snowmobiles, her enthusiasm to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and stripping protections for the Endangered Species Act, Norton’s conservative pandering will not be missed.
Of course, Bush will probably look for another James Watt clone, but perhaps his current realization of our ‘addiction to oil’ will encourage him to look for an individual whose interests align more with environmental ideals and sustainability than the almighty dollar. Doubtful.