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Gale Norton on Principles & Values

Secretary of Interior (Pres. Bush Cabinet)


1996: failed in Colorado senate GOP primary bid

Bush wanted a westerner for Interior Secretary, someone who understood the region's concerns about intrusive federal policies, since so much land in the West is the government's. I suggested Colorado attorney general Gale Norton, who I knew shared Bush's desire to find a way out of the showdown between growth-at-any-cost Republicans and environmentally obsessed Democrats. I'd been involved in her 1996 failed bid for the GOP nomination for the US Senate. She was smart, well-versed in environmental law, an outdoorswoman, and unflappable. Bush offered her the post after they talked. I admit I coached her a little bit on how to handle the interview. Bush needed to see she had opinions and a willingness to speak her mind. She was to do the country an enormous service in erasing the backlog of repairs at our national parks. And she was fearless in working to open public lands to environmentally sound energy production, an essential step to reducing America's dependence on Middle East oil.
Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.221 , Nov 2, 2010

Proud of being conservative and a conservationist

I will be candid in telling you that I am a conservative and a conservationist. In fact, I am a compassionate conservative and a passionate conservationist. I intend to make the conservation of Americaís natural resources my top priority. Using consultation & collaboration, we can succeed in our effort to conserve Americaís most precious places. Whatís more, we can achieve this while maintaining Americaís prosperity, while respecting constitutional rights and nurturing diverse traditions.
Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Promises to enforce nationís environmental laws

I have served eight years in the capacity of the state attorney general, enforcing the laws of Colorado and of the United States. And I feel very comfortable in enforcing the laws as they are written. I will be fully committed to ensuring that our nationís environmental laws and laws for the protection of natural resources will be fully enforced.
Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Consult with affected people before making decisions

I share the goal of trying to identify those areas that ought to be natural treasures. Many of decisions were made through a top-down process without consulting the people who are most affected. President-elect Bush has established his view, and I certainly share that, that decisions about the land should be made in a process that includes the people who are affected.
Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

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Page last updated: Dec 14, 2011