By Steve Fiscor, editor-in-chief

Steven Gardner has withdrawn his nomination to direct the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM). Gardner said the decision was a difficult one and one that comes after almost a year of back and forth with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). He said the uncertainty of if and when confirmation would actually take place led him to make the decision to withdraw.

“I feel I could have been of service and made a difference for the country, state governments served by OSM and an industry that is still so vital to the country,” Gardner said. “I have worked with OSM in many capacities for the 40 years it has been in existence. I have many friends in OSM, state governments and knowledge of the program.”

Admitting he was saddened by the need to make this decision, he said it was time for him to move on to refocus on his family and business.