Jeb Bush is proposing that the Department of the Interior's headquarters be moved from Washington to the western United States as part of a four-part plan for reforming federal land management practices he unveiled Wednesday, marking yet another attempt to distance himself and his policies from the nation's capital.
In a post on Medium, the Republican White House hopeful says that in addition to moving the department's headquarters, he wants to expand state power over federal lands, encourage "better" management of those areas, clear the way for more mining and energy development and expand recreational access. Bush will pitch his plan during a campaign stop in Reno, Nevada.
Bush recently intensified his pitch to "disrupt Washington" and he is seeking to portray himself as an outsider at a time when political newcomers are leading in the polls and the public has become increasingly skeptical of the federal government.
The former Florida governor says he supports "moving the Department of the Interior headquarters" from Washington "to a location closer to the lands it manages and the people it most affects, such as Denver, Salt Lake City or Reno. Historically, presidents export a Secretary of the Interior from the West to Washington. It is time to import the Department from Washington to the West."
Bush also takes sharp aim at the Obama administration, charging that it "has increasingly attempted to grab state authority and constrain the acceptable uses of federal lands. This needs to be reversed. We can conserve our natural resources and create economic growth while avoiding the pitfalls of federal bureaucracy."
He adds that "onerous and overreaching rule-making, 'paralysis by analysis' and 'sue and settle' are all methods use to strangle multiple use projects, such as water infrastructure, grazing, timber, mining, renewable and fossil energy development and outdoor recreation."
Bush will end his day in Las Vegas, where in the evening he will participate in a LIBRE Initiative policy forum.