Obama’s pick for Interior shares conservation and industry views
On February 6, President Obama announced that REI chief Sally Jewell will be nominated to become the 51st secretary of the Interior. Jewell, who has led the outdoor retailer since 2005, was a surprise pick to replace outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who plans to depart by the end of next month.
Jewell, who began her career as a petroleum engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation in Oklahoma and has never held a major public office, is a relative unknown on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers today said they will seek answers on how she would run the $12 billion agency, which handles everything from mining on public lands to oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to American Indian trust lands and conservation.
In the hyperpartisan Senate, Jewell's past affiliation with environmental groups could be a liability as she begins what is often a bruising confirmation process.