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    What’s Wrong with This Picture?

    Salazar Lambasted for Choice of Industry-Cozy Bureaucrat to Reorganize MMS

    Bob Abbey’s “Dismal” Leadership at BLM
    Bodes Poorly for Reform at Drilling Agency

    Washington, DC (May 28, 2010) – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s pick to bring “reform” to the much-criticized Minerals and Mining Service, Bob Abbey, has for the last 18 months earned a reputation for business as usual and coziness with industry in managing public lands as head of the Bureau of Land Management, In Defense of Animals charged today.
    “Abbey’s appointment is a slap in the face to the victims in the Gulf Coast and all Americans concerned about proper and unbiased management of our public lands,” said IDA Research Director Eric Kleiman.
    “In the wake of the catastrophic Gulf Oil spill, Abbey’s appointment is another man-made disaster,” continued Kleiman. “Based on his record at the BLM of mismanaging our public resources for the interests of private industry, Bob Abbey should be fired, not promoted.”
    Kleiman called Abbey’s 18-month tenure of leading the BLM under Secretary Salazar a “textbook example” of coziness with industry – exactly the same problems at MMS that must be reformed.  He said that the Department of Interior regularly issues industry-biased Environmental Assessments that result in the removal of thousands of wild horses.
    Kleiman charged that Salazar and Abbey have blatantly mismanaged the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, continuing Bush Administration policies that have cost tens of millions of tax dollars annually by removing tens of thousands of iconic wild horses from public lands for the benefit of private livestock ranchers and other exploitive commercial industries. Today, there are more wild horses warehoused in costly long-term holding facilities than remain in the wild.
    And one of Wyoming’s last desert wildlands, Adobe Town — 200,000 acres of canyons, badlands and wilderness-quality lands — is just one of the latest targets of the Abbey-managed BLM for destructive oil and gas development.
    “If President Obama wants to break extractive commercial interests’ stranglehold on the use of our public resources, he needs to clean house at the Department of Interior, starting with Secretary Salazar,” concluded Kleiman.  “We call on President Obama to replace Ken Salazar and Bob Abbey to achieve the so-far unfulfilled promise of true reform and accountability at the Department of Interior.”