Flanked by members of her Department of the Interior staff, Ms. Norton was clearly in a celebratory mood, telling reporters, "When I took this job five years ago, my goal was a simple one: to destroy as much of the environment as possible."
Beaming with pride, Ms. Norton said, "I am here today to say, 'mission accomplished.'"
The outgoing Interior Secretary was quick to share the credit with her staff, saying, "No one person could wreak that much damage on the environment all by herself -- this was definitely a team effort."
Ticking off her accomplishments, Ms. Norton took special pride in having opened up previously protected wildlife habitats to oil exploration and drilling.
"Five years ago, caribou and puffins made Alaska their home," she said. "Thanks to your hard work, today we have them on the run."
While insisting that the environment was for all practical purposes destroyed, she said that her successor would still face "pockets of wildlife, air and water" that would need to be eradicated.
When asked about her plans for the future, Ms. Norton said that she was leaving her job to spend more time defoliating forests with her family.
Elsewhere, President Bush said he was saddened by the arrest of former adviser Claude Allen on felony theft charges, telling reporters, "If he wanted to rip people off, I could have gotten him a job at Halliburton."
& & For more fake news from award-winning humorist Andy Borowitz, check out the & lt;a href="http://www.borowitzreport.com" & Borowitz Report & lt;/a & & & .