"Now I feel it is time for me to leave this mountain you gave me to climb, catch my breath, then set my sights on new goals to achieve in the private sector," Norton said in her resignation letter to the President. "Hopefully, my husband and I will end up closer to the mountains we love in the West."
Norton, 51, is the first woman to serve as Interior Secretary. She is the 48th person to hold that office and has served longer than all but six of her predecessors. She was sworn in on January 31, 2001. After winning reelection in 2004, Bush asked her to continue serving in his Administration.
One-third of the oil, natural gas, and coal produced in the US comes from resources managed by the Department of the Interior. Norton implemented the President's 2001 National Energy Policy calling for increased energy production. The department also is implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Other energy industry-related activities the department has pursued under Norton's tenure include:
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