A tribute to Spencer Abraham

The Washington Times pays tribute to an outstanding public servant, outgoing Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. The Times writes:

In a period of unusual economic and political turbulence triggered by the September 11 terrorist attacks and volatile energy markets, Mr. Abraham assumed the considerable burden of pushing change in a large, unwieldy and scandal-plagued bureaucracy amid terrorist threats, rising oil prices and a holdover culture of security laxity that had engulfed the department in the 1990s. That’s not even mentioning the California energy crisis of 2001 or last year’s Northeast region blackouts.

Abraham dealt admirably with these challenges. But his most significant accomplishment, according to the Times, was “quietly curbing nuclear proliferation across the globe country by country, facility by facility.” As to formulating energy policy, the Times states that Abraham “deserves high marks” even though his best efforts were thrwarted by Congress. The Times concludes that

In 2001, Mr. Abraham inherited a large and unwieldy agency in post-Cold War drift. He bequeaths his expected successor, Deputy Secretary Treasury Samuel W. Bodman, something much better. Mr. Abraham led his agency with distinction and high integrity.

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