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Gale Norton on Environment

Secretary of Interior (Pres. Bush Cabinet)


Protecting national parks is a common goal & a priority

One of President-elect Bush’s priorities is to protect our national park system. We plan to work with Congress to eliminate the major maintenance backlogs and to do that within five years. That is our goal. I don’t think any of us here today would disagree on that goal. In that lies the basis for common ground.
Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Decision makers in D.C. should listen to all voices

I’ve worked for more than 20 years on environmental issues. I’m proud of preserving endangered species, cleaning up mountain valleys polluted by mining, working to convert the Rocky Mountain Arsenal from a place polluted by pesticides and nerve gas residues to a wildlife refuge. Based on these experiences, I am firmly committed to a process of consultation and collaboration. Those of us here in Washington need to be good partners with Americans living in other parts of this country.
Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Will use all resources of Interior to make best decisions

We hope to look at the issues of how we can provide the best scientific evaluation of the environmental consequences, how we can do any exploration and production, if it is done, in the absolute most environmentally conscious way that we can have that happen. I will certainly follow any laws that are passed, to be sure that the protection of the important resources of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are preserved at the same time that any exploration or production would take place.
Source: Confirmation Hearings, U.S. Senate , Jan 19, 2001

Norton vows to uphold laws such as Endangered Species Act

In her testimony, Ms. Norton said that on a number of occasions in the past, she had challenged laws that she might soon be obliged to enforce, most notably the Endangered Species Act. But she said those past stances would not stand in the way of her carrying out her responsibilities. “I feel very comfortable with enforcing the laws as they are now written.”
Source: Federal News Source report on Confirmation Hearings , Jan 18, 2001

Clinton designations of national monuments to be reviewed

She said she had been concerned at the way President Clinton had moved over the last year to designate nearly two dozen new national monuments. She said those decisions and others by the outgoing administration would be reviewed.
Source: Federal News Source report on Confirmation Hearings , Jan 18, 2001

Will balance conservationists’ and off-roaders’ needs

When asked her views about permitting snowmobiles on public lands, she struck a tone clearly intended to appeal both to conservative off-road enthusiasts and conservationist nature lovers. “I value the preservation of our lands, and I value the ability of people to use those lands in an appropriate way,” she said.
Source: Federal News Source report on Confirmation Hearings , Jan 18, 2001

Never advocated “right to pollute”

In response to questions, Ms. Norton insisted she had never advocated “a right to pollute,” as a line in a 1991 speech had seemed to suggest. She also said that she had once declined to represent the state of Colorado in defending a minority set-aside policy not because she disagreed with the policy, but because the state’s position was not legally defensible. The state’s position was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court in a decision that Ms. Norton described as a vindication.
Source: Federal News Source report on Confirmation Hearings , Jan 18, 2001

Proud of working to protect California condor

Ms. Norton seemed to be trying to put a different gloss on an image that has been shaped by critics. Rather than emphasize her advocacy of drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, she named as one of her proudest accomplishments as the Interior Department’s solicitor general in the 1980’s her work toward the protection of the California condor, an endangered species. She singled out as a top goal one mentioned by Mr. Bush: a major effort to increase financing for national parks.
Source: Federal News Source report on Confirmation Hearings , Jan 18, 2001

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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
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Page last updated: Oct 08, 2013