But her loss is our gain, because Colorado still has a seat at the head of the table deciding who the next Interior chief, and we hear that Bob Beauprez is being considered as the next secretary
The Interior transition team is being led by David Longly Bernhardt, a Rifle native who launched his political career in Washington more than two decades ago as a legislative aide to then-Congressman Scott McInnis.
Bernhardt’s entire career has focused on being on the right side of western issues including public lands, water, endangered species — pretty much every aspect which falls under the purview of the Interior Department.
His Interior bona fides were fulfilled after serving in numerous positions at the department including solicitor under former Secretary Gale Norton in the Bush administration. In between those government stints, Bernhardt worked for Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck.
The new Interior secretary might not come from Colorado, but with Bernhardt leading the effort, we are resting easy that the choice will be the right one to protect western interests, and ensure a bright and prosperous future of multiple use of public lands.
There are some solid names being floated for the position, including U.S. Rob Bishop of Utah, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee which has kept a close eye on the EPA spill disaster at the Gold King Mine.
In addition to Beauprez, also in the running are Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska; Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe; Rep. Don Young of Alaska; retiring Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis; and Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and James Risch; Idaho Gov. Butch Otter; Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead; New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez; former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Forest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil; Harold Hamm, chief executive of Continental Resources; and Robert Grady, with Gryphon Investors.