BLM Director Bob Abbey to retire



WASHINGTON (AP) — Bob Abbey, a longtime Interior Department official who has headed the Bureau of Land Management for the past three years, 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 Wednesday he will step down at the end of May. Deputy BLM Director Mike Pool will serve as acting director.