James G. Watt

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I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It's liberals and Americans.

James Gaius Watt (January 31, 1938May 27, 2023) was the 43rd United States Secretary of the Interior; he served from January 23, 1981 to November 8, 1983.




  • That is the delicate balance the Secretary of the Interior must have: to be steward for the natural resources for this generation as well as future generations. I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns; whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations.
    • Testimony before the House Interior Committee (5 February 1981)
  • My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns.
    • The Washington Post (24 May 1981)
  • I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It's liberals and Americans.
    • Statement of November 1981, quoted in New York Times (10 October 1983), also quoted in Energy and Environment : The Unfinished Business (1986) by Congressional Quarterly, Inc., p. 91
  • We have every mixture you can have. I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent.
    • Speaking before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on September 21, 1983, in reference to members of the U.S. Commission on Fair Market Value Policy for Federal Coal Leasing
  • We will mine more, drill more, cut more timber.
    • As quoted in Media Transparency [1]
  • Liberals have shifted government into a position of being neutral between right and wrong. By concentrating power in government institutions, liberals chisel at the three pillars of society: the family unit, work ethic and faith. That's not good for America.
    • U.S. News and World Report (11 November 1985)


  • If the troubles from environmentalists cannot be solved in the jury box or at the ballot box, perhaps the cartridge box should be used.
    • As quoted in "The Earth's Storm Troopers", Phoenix New Times (7 August 1991)


  • Everything Cheney's saying, everything the president's saying — they're saying exactly what we were saying 20 years ago, precisely … Twenty years later, it sounds like they've just dusted off the old work.
    • Praising George W. Bush's energy and environmental policies "Watt Applauds Bush Energy Strategy", Denver Post (16 May 2001)


  • God gave us these things to use. After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.
    • Attributed in Setting the Captives Free (1990) by Austin Miles, and widely repeated after appearing in "The Godly Must Be Crazy", by Glenn Scherer in Grist magazine (28 October 2004). Grist afterwards retracted and apologized for Scherer's comment, noting that the quotation appears nowhere in Watt's Congressional testimony or any other source it could find. Watt has responded:
      I never said it. Never believed it. Never even thought it. I know no Christian who believes or preaches such error. The Bible commands conservation — that we as Christians be careful stewards of the land and resources entrusted to us by the Creator.
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