By Debbie Coffey   Copyright 2010       All Rights Reserved.

 

“Bob Abbey, for his efforts, was promoted in 2009 and became the national Director of the BLM.  The issue regarding Abbey firing a whistleblower was not raised during his confirmation hearing.  Then, Secretary Ken Salazar also named Abbey interim Director of the Minerals Management Service, “the scandal-ridden agency responsible for the oversight of offshore drilling,” to oversee the cleanup of BP’s Gulf oil spill. “___________________________________

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who has been called “the godfather of Nevada’s casino-real estate-development nexus and hard rock mining,” nominated Bob Abbey to be the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

What did Bob Abbey do before he became Director of the BLM? 

Well for one thing, as the Nevada State Director of the BLM, Bob Abbey illegally fired Earle Dixon in 2004 for whistleblowing about radioactive uranium contamination from a mine in Nevada.

Earle Dixon, a mine hydrogeology specialist, was the Project Manager overseeing the cleanup of the Yerington Mine at the edge of Yerington in western Nevada.  The Anaconda Copper Co. had mined and processed copper ore at this 3,500 acre site for more than 25 years.  The site was bought by a subsidiary of BP (British Petroleum): ARCO (formerly called Atlantic Richfield).  The cleanup included contaminated groundwater, metal-contaminated mine tailings and radioactive evaporation ponds.   Dixon was trying to protect the health and safety of the cleanup workers and local residents, as well as make sure that the mine cleanup complied with the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, and other laws.  Bob Abbey wrote a letter firing Dixon because he “alienated many of the groups that we, as an agency responsible for managing public lands, need to deal with in accomplishing our mission in an efficient and effective manner.”  More