Talk about a Friday afternoon news dump.
On the same day the Biden administration admitted they mistakenly slaughtered Afghan civilians in a drone strike, France recalled their ambassadors from the U.S., and the FDA voted against recommending COVID booster shots, the Bureau of Land Management announced they were removing the agency’s headquarters from Grand Junction.
While BLM claimed Grand Junction would still be the agency’s “Western headquarters,” it appears to be in name only.
Top BLM leadership will be in D.C., and that was the entire point of moving the headquarters in Grand Junction in the first place.
The “Western headquarters” hedge looks like a political stunt to spare U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper the humiliation of losing the actual headquarters back to Washington.
Members of the House Natural Resources Committee blasted the decision.
“Today’s misguided, partisan decision has nothing to do with executing good land management and everything to do with centralizing and growing big government. A two-quarterback BLM system with one headquarters in D.C. and another headquarters in Colorado will layer bureaucracies, further confusing and complicating an already confused and complicated agency,” said Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, ranking GOP member on the Natural Resources Committee.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert took particular aim at Bennet and Hickenlooper for failing to offer any meaningful pushback in the Senate.
“The fight to keep the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction was always bipartisan, but when it came down to the wire, Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper folded and failed to stand up for Colorado by using procedural tools to leverage the Biden regime to keep the main Bureau of Land Management headquarters, Director, and senior leadership in Grand Junction. The junior senator from Michigan held up eight high-level Department of Defense nominations to leverage a win for his state, but Bennet and Hickenlooper combined couldn’t find the courage to place a hold on just one nominee. As usual, these politicians’ promises were nothing more than empty words,” Boebert said in a press release.
After a tenacious lobbying campaign from former U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, the bureau announced in 2019 their headquarters would be relocating to Grand Junction.
This decision was largely based on the fact that 99% of the lands managed by the BLM are located west of the Mississippi River and 97% of BLM employees already lived in the western U.S.
An analysis from the Office of Management and Budget showed moving the BLM headquarters west would save taxpayers more than $123.8 million over 20 years.