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Norton, 55, was President Bush’s first Interior secretary. She had worked as an Interior Department attorney before being elected Colorado’s attorney general. Later, as a private lawyer, she represented mining, timber and oil companies.

As Interior secretary, she embraced an industry-friendly approach to environmental regulation that she called “cooperative conservation” and pushed the department to open more public land for energy production.

Norton also backed commercial development of the oil shale reserves buried in the rocks of the Mountain West. Known as “the rock that burns,” oil shale refers to rocks that release liquid petroleum when heated to extreme temperatures. The highly controversial process promises immense fuel production, but environmentalists argue that it contaminates rugged landscapes and drains precious water.

In early 2006 — following the recommendations of a team representing several federal agencies and states — the department announced that it planned to award Shell three oil shale leases. Norton resigned two months later, saying that she had no job lined up. In December of that year, Shell announced it had hired Norton as in-house counsel to its unconventional fuels division, which includes oil shale.

[ . . . ]

Then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force recommended aggressive steps to encourage private industry to develop such technology. In response, the Bureau of Land Management issued six oil shale “research, development and demonstration” leases. The leases, five in Colorado and one in Utah, granted access to up to 160 acres of federal land apiece to develop shale programs — with an option to increase that to 5,000 acres once a technique proved commercially viable.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-norton17-2009sep17,0,6215749.story

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My Note –

as if they haven’t damaged enough already – and there is this story out of the UK that indicates the continuing difficulty that awaits the months to come which is also a direct result of the previous administrations’ refusal to have regulations that would make the financial system solvent and based in reality. (because they could do it any way that allowed them to gamble with other people’s money and without consequences – and the ripples are still occurring around the world from it.)

– cricketdiane, 09-17-09

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“But the HBOS deal crippled Lloyds and the bank has been in lengthy talks over securing state guarantees for losses of some £260bn worth of toxic assets.”

[From]

Lloyds: ‘No Exit From Toxic Debt Scheme’

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6:15pm UK, Thursday September 17, 2009

The Financial Services Authority has told Lloyds, whose disastrous takeover of HBOS has seen it write off billions of pounds in bad loans, that it is not prepared to let the bank do without the Government’s insurance scheme.

[etc.]

But the HBOS deal crippled Lloyds and the bank has been in lengthy talks over securing state guarantees for losses of some £260bn worth of toxic assets.

[ . . . ]

“Lloyds has a vast exposure to the UK property market and there is still huge uncertainty about the prospects of the real estate sector.”

Lloyds has already suffered major writedowns and warned of more to come

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/FSA-To-Block-Lloyds-Bank-From-Leaving-Asset-Protection-Scheme-For-Toxic-Debts/Article/200909315383603?lpos=Business_First_Home_Article_Teaser_Region_5&lid=ARTICLE_15383603_FSA_To_Block_Lloyds_Bank_From_Leaving_Asset_Protection_Scheme_For_Toxic_Debts

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My Note –

I was always wishing I could’ve gone to Harvard or one of those great schools that I read about and watched with admiration. But, I like everyone else assumed they knew more than the average bear without ever getting real tough about it and checking to see if they were making sense. Silly me. Even I wouldn’t have gotten it that wrong to propagate the lie that house prices could only go up and would never go down. ( – among other things.)

They didn’t know we were in a recession for 18 months and kept saying that there was no indication that things were in any trouble whatsoever. I watched Bernanke sit right there and give his testimony last spring a year ago in Congress, saying that everything was going to be just wonderful with maybe the slightest little contraction in a couple areas.

If I went to Congress and gave testimony that was that much of a lie, they’d have me arrested and no telling what all would happen to me on top of that as a result. But no, if someone is an alumni of Goldman Sachs or Harvard or Yale or a Republican, for that matter – they can lie and distort reality even right there giving testimony and facts under oath in Congress and it doesn’t cost them a thing. What kind of citizenship is that?

To be honest, I still admire Harvard and many other University educated individuals along with their specialists in a variety of fields. But, I won’t ever have the same consummate admiration for them that I’ve held all of my life.

And, I still believe in the Republican principles that are in the foundations of our country but not in the way the Republican conservative right-wing administrations of my lifetime have applied them. Those people were very, very wrong and caused far-reaching harms for everyone except themselves. Unfortunately, most of that will never be fixed either.

– cricketdiane

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