Interior Secretary Gale Norton resigns

Gale Norton, secretary of the Department of Interior, announced today that she will resign her position, effective at the end of the month. “Now I feel it is time for me to leave this mountain you gave me to climb,” she wrote in her resignation letter to President Bush, “catch my breath, then set my sights on new goals to achieve in the private sector.” The private sector should welcome her with open arms: In her tendentious career at Interior, Norton stripped protection from wilderness areas, pushed for more logging, advocated increased oil and gas drilling, and proclaimed a love of snowmobiles that bordered on the erotic. Beltway speculation is swirling that Norton’s departure is related to her possible connection to the ongoing scandals surrounding disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.