Senate Democrats


Administration Agrees to Not to Touch Nevada Public Lands Money

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate voted unanimously today to confirm Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne as the new U.S. Secretary of the Interior. U.S. Senator Harry Reid released the following statement after today’s confirmation:

“Dirk Kempthorne and I are both from Western states, and I’ve worked with him in the U.S. Senate. He’s a good man, and he brings a wealth of experience to the job.

I said before that I couldn’t support Governor Kempthorne’s nomination unless we could come to an agreement about key public land issues. I’m happy to say that we have. The White House has agreed to honor the purpose of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, and will not try to divert any funding away from the state of Nevada for the duration of this Administration.

Senator Ensign and I have worked together in recent years to defeat multiple proposals that would have stolen Nevada’s money. I’m pleased that these battles are now over. This new agreement is a major victory for the people of Nevada.

Dirk Kempthorne has a tough job ahead of him. The country is counting on him to protect our public lands, to properly resolve major water conflicts, and to preserve the natural resources of America for future generations – in spite of pressure from the Administration.

I expect we’ll disagree on some matters in the future, but I’m confident we can work together to find common ground. I look forward to working with our new Interior Secretary.”