Quantcast
Home » News
Home » News

Interior names energy and mineral chief new acting BLM director

Published March 15, 2017 3:23 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Michael Nedd, who had run the Bureau of Land Management's office over energy and mineral programs, will take over as the acting director of the entire agency, the Interior Department said Wednesday. The BLM is the biggest land manager in Utah.

Nedd, who was the assistant director for Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management, will take over as the interim head of the nation's land management agency, and Interior said his appointment signals Secretary Ryan Zinke's "focus on creating responsible energy jobs on public lands where appropriate."

"Let me make one thing clear, the Interior Department is in the energy business and Mike is an energy guy who understands the balance we must strike when developing resources and creating jobs on our public lands," Zinke said in a statement. "It is my hope that working together he will help identify areas where we can expand responsible mineral development while still conserving habitat and wildlife."



President Donald Trump has yet to name a BLM director, though Utah state Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, a controversial figure in the public lands debate, has actively campaigned for the job. Trump's White House is far behind that of his predecessors in naming key appointments for federal agencies with some 505 Senate-confirmed positions still awaiting an official nomination, according to a Washington Post database tracking the appointments.

Some 19 officials, mainly Cabinet-level or White House senior staff, have been named and another 29 are awaiting confirmation votes.

The BLM manages 22.9 million acres of land in Utah, or about 42 percent of the state's landmass.

Nedd has headed the energy, minerals and realty management sector for BLM since 2007 and previously as a state director and deputy chief information officer. He also served as an officer and enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army.

Testifying before a House Natural Resources subcommittee last year, Nedd praised the BLM's work to boost renewable energy, noting that prior to President Barack Obama taking office in 2009 there were no solar installations on federal lands but since then the BLM has approved 59 utility-scale renewable energy projects, including 35 solar facilities, 11 wind farms and 13 geothermal plants.

"Facilitating the responsible development of renewable energy resources on public lands is a cornerstone of the administration's energy strategy," Nedd said in prepared testimony.

Nationwide, the BLM manages nearly 260 million acres of land — about an eighth of land in the United States — and 700 million acres of minerals beneath the ground.

tburr@sltrib.com

 

 

 

 

 

USER COMMENTS
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus