Letter of Resignation...
01-04-06 Revista de Prensa
by Evan Eisenberg
This publication has obtained from a reliable source the unreleased third page of the letter of resignation sent by Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton to President George W. Bush on March 9, 2006. The text follows....
Mr. President, as I pass through the great revolving door of the Interior Department, I can say with full conviction: Together we have reached the mountaintop. If I have one regret, it is that I must leave to my successor the noble task of removing the mountaintop and extracting the natural wealth that lies within.
In closing, I hope you will forgive me if I indulge in an “Interior” monologue about matters close to both our hearts.
For centuries, gazing awestruck at the glittering expanse of the night sky, humans have wondered: Are we alone in the universe? Or are there, somewhere in the vast blackness of space, other beings capable, like us, of living, loving, dying, decomposing, and forming deposits of fossil fuel?
The latest news from our space program suggests, incredibly, that the question may be answered in our lifetime.
As you may have heard, Mr. President, the Casino spacecraft has discovered geysers on Salada, an icy, tea-colored moon of Saturn. The implications are staggering For where there is water, there may be life. And where there is — or was — life, there may be oil, coal, or natural gas.
It has been said that on Chinese menus, the special of the day is both an opportunity and a danger. So it is with Salada.
According to the images sent by Casino, the geysers on Salada may tower several miles high, compared to a mere 182 ft. for Old Faithful. With respect, Mr. President, I say: mark my words! It is only a matter of time before we hear calls for these “natural wonders” to be protected — together, no doubt, with millions of surrounding acres (as in the case of Yellowstone).
If there is anything you have taught us over the past five years, it is that we must take the battle to the enemy. If we do not attack and preempt extremists in the “old-growth” stands of the Northwest and frozen wastes of Alaska, we may soon find the Washington Mall itself declared a National Park.
As my last official act as Secretary of the Interior, I intend, with your approval, to appoint a commission whose mandate will be to study the Salada problem with an open mind, applying state-of-the-art science and arriving at the following recommendation: that the entire moon (Salada) be processed as soon as possible and valuable deposits extracted, with the slag (remainder of Salada) to be deposited on Tighten, another moon of Saturn. Taking advantage of new technology spun off from the coal industry, this will present our opponents with a “fact on the ground,” foreclosing the possibility of future wilderness status.
Needless to say, this rests on the assumption that, if life still exists on Salada, it does not exist in a form more advanced than us, since in that case we would surely have heard from them by now! Most likely it consists of Saturnine versions of shellfish, ferns, and other humble creatures designed by the Creator, in His infinite wisdom, for the express purpose of turning into fuel.
We cannot, however, rule out the possibility that human-like beings live on Salada. If such were to be found, they would probably fall under the jurisdiction of this Department, specifically the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The implications of this will surely not escape you. I have asked my friends at the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy to look into the possibility that our important work on behalf of the American people might, at some future time, be supported by a truly “offshore” revenue stream.
In truth, we have many mountains yet to climb.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Gale A. Norton
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