Dirk Kempthorne, former governor of Idaho, was officially sworn in Wednesday as the secretary of the Department of Interior in a ceremony at the White House. He succeeds former Interior Secretary Gale Norton who departed in March.

President Bush attended the ceremony and the oath was administered by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Kempthorne was confirmed by the Senate for the Interior post in late May.

“As we work to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy, he [Kempthorne] will make sure that any exploration on federal lands and federal waters is done in an environmentally sensitive way,” Bush said during the swearing-in service.

Kempthorne touched on the issue of energy as well. “Since my nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate…I’ve reached out to governors, to senators, to representatives, to tribal leaders, mayors, energy producers, environmentalists…Together, we can, and must, wisely manage energy development,” he said.

“Together we can, and must, implement the traditional and renewable responsibilities you [Bush] and a bipartisan Congress told Interior to achieve in the Energy Policy Act,” Kempthorne added.

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