Manuel Lujan: The Stealth Secretary

Once environmentalists dismissed Interior Department chief Manuel Lujan as an affable bumbler. Now they're frightened by his assault on U.S. conservation programs and natural riches.

GIVEN WHAT GEORGE BUSH WAS looking for, Manuel Lujan Jr. was the ideal choice for Secretary of the Interior. During 20 years in Congress, the New Mexico Republican had remained largely invisible despite a dismal record on environmental issues. A gracious man, Lujan always kept his door open, even when his mind was closed. He was wary of environmentalists and the Endangered Species Act and eager to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. His pro-business credentials were impeccable: he would fend off any serious challenge to sweetheart deals on public lands for oil, mining, timber and ranching interests....

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