In what was billed as her first major environmental speech of the year, Interior Secretary Gale Norton called Wednesday for “a new environmentalism” in which local residents and landowners, not just the government, would take responsibility for protecting the Earth. Norton also called for an environmentalism that did not threaten jobs. The Interior secretary said that a number of her pet projects — such as the $100 million Citizen Conservation Initiative, which will pay landowners to protect the environment — fall under the rubric of new environmentalism. Environmentalists were both unsurprised and unimpressed, saying there was nothing very new about Norton’s new environmentalism: Melanie Griffin, public lands director for the Sierra Club, said “Gale Norton has never favored environmental laws. She seems to prefer voluntary solutions.”
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