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After serving as director of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the last three years, Bob Abbey on Thursday announced that he will retire from public service at the end of the month. Abbey has overseen the BLM since August 2009 when he was confirmed by the Senate. His retirement culminates a 34-year career in state and federal service. The agency during his term implemented a number of regulations affecting the oil and natural gas industry -- the latest being rules governing hydraulic fracturing on public and Native American lands (see Daily GPI, May 7). BLM Deputy Director Mike Pool will serve as acting director following Abbey's retirement.

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