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BLM Director Bob Abbey to retire

Thursday - 5/10/2012, 9:47pm  ET

By MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A longtime Interior Department official who has headed the Bureau of Land Management for the past three years, Bob Abbey, is retiring.

The 60-year-old Abbey has directed the land management agency since 2009, sharply increasing its focus on renewable energy, along with its traditional duties of managing oil and gas leases on federal lands, mostly in the West.

A former Nevada state director for the land management agency, Abbey oversaw approval of 29 large-scale renewable energy projects, including 16 solar farms. He joined Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this week as Salazar launched a Nevada solar project that produced the first solar power ever generated on federal land.

Abbey said late Thursday he will step down at the end of May. Deputy BLM Director Mike Pool will serve as acting director.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)