Not a moment too soon


"I can attest to the fact that (the Department of Interior) gets in your blood, but I can also say that it does not necessarily turn it green." -- Paul Hoffman, a deputy assistant secretary of the Interior, announcing his resignation this week.

Hoffman, who got his post thanks to Vice President Dick Cheney, regularly helped the Veep undercut environmental regulations, according to a Washington Post investigation published last year. From keeping the Yellowstone cutthroat trout off the Endangered Species List to helping lift the Clinton-era ban on snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park, Hoffman, former director of the Cody, Wyo., Chamber of Commerce, made sure that commerce in his and Cheney’s home state wasn’t unduly burdened.

Hoffman also overrode the decision of Grand Canyon’s superintendent to remove biblical plaques from the park, and forced its bookstores to stock a creationist text claiming the canyon was created in six days a few thousand years ago. And he fired Teresa Chambers, the first woman to ever become Chief of the U.S. Park Police, for daring to tell the media that her department was understaffed and underfunded. More recently, he tried to rewrite national park management rules to give snowmobiles and off-road vehicles free rein and allow commercial activities like mining and rock concerts. Perhaps Interior will bleed a bit more green now.

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