In March, President Obama nominated New Mexican Estevan López, who at the time was head of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, to head the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. It was a big deal in a number of ways, not least of which was that, in replacing Mike Connor, López would be the second New Mexican in a row to head this incredibly important water agency. But then, as happens with things that require Congressional action these days, the nomination languished, leaving the Bureau and New Mexico water management in limbo.
Finally in October, López went back to Washington to serve as “principal deputy” at Reclamation, a position that didn’t require any congressional action. He was for all purposes running the agency, in all but title. But with Congressional action such a dicey game these days, it seemed entirely possible that he would serve out his term, running the agency and doing all the work, without ever actually getting the formal title or, as a friend put it, “getting his picture on the wall.”
So I was happy to see the tweets out of Reclamation today after his name was included earlier in the week on a list of what were described as “non-controversial nominations” to which the Senate gave its assent. If you know Estevan, you’ll recognize the grin in the second picture:
So now he gets his picture on the wall.