Yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Salazar appointed an environmental champion to serve as his deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management. That champion is Ned Farquhar, a former advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) as well as a former adviser to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. In this capacity Farquhar will help to oversee the Minerals Management Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation.
His expertise is in energy and climate issues, including energy production and transmission. This makes him an excellent choice to help oversee the very departments that are often busy leasing to industries that exacerbate the climate crisis. Not least among these is the coal industry. Farquhar, who recently blogged for NRDC that we need "protections that prevent climate-changing conventional coal from expanding into new markets," now works in the office that regulates coal mining and regulation. How cool is that? Just when it's beginning to sink in how great it is to have Salazar heading the Department of the Interior, he surpasses expectations and appoints a true expert and environmentalist to a highly important position. Things are looking pretty good in Interior these days.