Kempthorne confirmed as secretary of the interior

After a brief and largely pro forma confirmation hearing today, the Senate made it official: ex-Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R) will succeed Gale Norton as secretary of the interior, steward of 20 percent of the nation’s land. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) whinged a bit at the hearings about President Bush’s plan to drill off the coast of Florida, but otherwise the hearings were a hugfest. If Kempthorne’s environmental critics are right, we can now look forward to several more years of drilling, leasing, and lots and lots of snowmobiles.