Many of you have probably heard, but I have withdrawn my name from the nomination to be Director of the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement in the Department of Interior. The process had drug on for a year and a half with no end in sight. The requirements to accept the position kept changing, i.e. step away from your practice and resign from all organizations; then, No, sell your practice, but you have 90 days to do that after taking office as OSM Director; then, No, you have to do it before you go for confirmation, etc., etc. And each step to find out the latest condition would take weeks in between communications. The cost and uncertainty just became overwhelming and I decided it was time to get on with life. So, it is back to work and trying to catch up on some of the lost opportunities from the last year.
Also, I was surprised by the attention my withdrawal from the nomination has drawn from many in the press. Below is the statement I have been issuing in response to media inquiries:
I have withdrawn my name from consideration to be the Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) in the Department of the Interior.
This decision was very difficult for me and comes after almost a year of back and forth with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) over the financial impacts of the employment conditions. Now, I have reached the point that the uncertainty of when confirmation would actually take place, numerous reversals by OGE of conditions, unknown financial implications, and unknown final conditions have led me to make the decision to withdraw.
I feel I could have been of service and made a difference for the country, state governments served by OSM and the industry that is still so vital to the country. I have worked with OSM in many capacities for the 40 years it has been in existence. I have many friends in OSM, state governments and knowledge of the program. That is why I am saddened by the necessity to make this decision. It is time to move on to refocus on my business and family and recoup some of the opportunities lost from the last year of uncertainty.
I thank everyone who supported me and my apologies to all those who had said they were counting on me.