The President Nominates Gov. Kempthorne for Interior

By March 20, 2006General

Amidst all the activity of last week, we forgot to note the President’s excellent choice of Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne as Interior Secretary. You know we were high on Secretary Norton, and we think Gov. Kempthorne will quite ably fill her shoes. He will be a faithful steward of the environment but won’t necessarily be beholdento the enviros’ knee-jerk whims. They, of course, see the Interior Department as their own little club in much the same way that organized labor sees the Labor Department as their sole province. They don’t take change (like elections) very well, it turns out.

So here’s a link to a story on Gov. Kempthorne. He is known for his common-sense approach to problem solving and is a guy who understands land management and property rights. As a former Senator, it’s believed — hoped, maybe — that he’ll receive swift confirmation. Funny – Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) last week threatened to put a hold on Kempthorne’s nomination to make sure he wouldn’t do anything crazy like let us tap our own reserves of oil and gas. However, no sooner had he spoken that Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — the committee what will handle Kempthorne’s nomination — said, “As a Westerner, former Senator and current Governor, [Gov. Kempthorne] certainly understands the issues managed by the Interior Department. I would, expect that Dirk would be confirmed.” Advantage Bingaman. Maybe Sen. Nelson will have to settle for a strong letter.

Here’s hoping the US Senate moves quickly to confirm Gov. Kempthorne as Interior Secretary.