Watt, James G.

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  • James G. Watt (1938–) is a prominent figure among advocates of pro–business development policies and exploitation in the Far West. As the secretary of the interior from 1981 to 1983, during Ronald Reagan's first presidential term, he generated considerable controversy by what many perceived as pursuing pro-business and anti-environmental policies.

    Watt was born in Lusk, Wyoming, on January 31, 1938. After earning a bachelor of science and law degrees from the University of Wyoming, he entered politics as an aide to Republican senator Milward W. Simpson. In the mid-1960s, he became active in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As a native westerner, he was exposed to what became known as the Sagebrush Rebellion—a movement of oil, timber, commercial agriculture, and mineral interests centered in the Mountain ...

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