Senate Confirms Gail Norton
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Gale Norton won Senate approval Tuesday to head the Interior Department despite opposition from environmental groups and some Democrats, including one who said her views on land management were ``out of the mainstream.″
On a 75-24 vote, the Senate confirmed President Bush’s choice of the Norton, a past advocate of state’s and property rights, to be the government’s chief steward for half a billion acres of federal land and natural resources as secretary of the interior.
Republicans said they were confident that Norton could balance both preserving and developing those resources.
``She grew up in Colorado, she understands what wilderness means,″ said Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H.
Democrats said they only hope that Norton doesn’t live up to their worst fears.
``I hope she listens to this and proves me wrong,″ said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. ``She’s out of the mainstream of thought.″
The Senate also was acting Tuesday on Bush’s nomination of former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
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