Bush: Move Interior Dept to western city

GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush is calling for the federal government’s main land management agency to move outside of Washington, D.C.

At a Wednesday visit to Reno, Nev., Bush will say that he wants to move the Interior Department headquarters to a western city such as Denver, Salt Lake City or Reno, The Washington Post reports.


The announcement is a major jab at Washington and furthers the popular Republican anger at bureaucrats and the feeling that inside-the-Beltway federal employees are too separated from the rest of the United States.

“Historically, presidents export a Secretary of the Interior from the West to Washington,” Bush will write in a blog post. “It is time to import the Department from Washington to the West.”

Bush will also criticize the Obama administration and call for dramatic changes to regulations and policies at Interior, which manages the majority of land in many western states and oversees wildlife protections, offshore drilling, surface mining and various other tasks.

He’ll call for more state control of federal land within their boundaries, encouraging multiple uses of federal land and loosening rules on energy development, logging, grazing and infrastructure on Interior’s property, according to the Post.

“We can conserve our natural resources and create economic growth while avoiding the pitfalls of federal bureaucracy,” he’ll write.

The vast majority of Interior’s 70,000 employees are based outside of Washington in its parks, preserves, regional offices and other holdings.

Anger toward Interior and its child agencies is strongest in the west, where it holds the largest pieces of land and is the closest to people’s everyday lives and work.