Sally Jewell To Be Interior Secretary By Obama

Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI, speaks at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel

By JULIE PACE / Huffington Post / 02/06/13 08:41 AM ET EST AP

This March, 2006 file photo shows Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) CEO Sally Jewell at REI's Seattle flagship store.

This March, 2006 file photo shows Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) CEO Sally Jewell at REI’s Seattle flagship store.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday will nominate business executive and former engineer Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department, an administration official said.

Jewell is the president and chief executive officer at the outdoors company Recreational Equipment, Inc., known as REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor adventures with more than 100 stores across the country. Prior to joining REI in 2000, Jewell worked in commercial banking and as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation.

If confirmed, Jewell would replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who held the post throughout Obama’s first term. Salazar announced last month that he would step down in March.

Jewell is the first woman in Obama’s crop of second-term Cabinet nominees. The White House faced criticism that the new Cabinet lacked diversity after Obama tapped a string of white men for top posts, but Obama promised more diverse nominees were in the queue for other jobs.

Jewell’s confirmation would also put a prominent representative from the business community in the president’s Cabinet. REI is a $2 billion-a-year company and has been named by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for.

Obama was to announce Jewell’s nomination from the White House Wednesday afternoon, according to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to confirm Jewell’s nomination ahead of the president.

Under Salazar, the Interior Department pushed renewable power such as solar and wind and oversaw a moratorium on offshore drilling after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium was lifted in October 2010, although offshore drilling operations did not begin for several more months.

The Interior Department manages millions of acres in national parks and forests, overseeing energy and mining operations on some of the government-owned l

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
9 Comments
  • judye michaels

    Oh Boy!!! Engineering and big business….. what a surprise!!!! We’ll wind up with fracking, oil wells, coal mines — and no wild horses and burros!!

    February 6, 2013
  • Suzanne Dunham

    I guess Mr. Obama doesn’t want to listen to his constituents!!!! Just what we need….another billionaire in goverment!

    February 6, 2013
  • Mustang man

    Mr. Obama is listening exactly to his constituents. And they are not a very small group of wild horse people without the nuts to go overboard on what they wish to have happen other then spending time blogging, liking or filling out useless e petitions. Want a voice then get outside, get real in INK signatures, create and participate in outlandish protests and put your fears of arrest behind you. Do something that makes us look bigger then we really are. Did people really have a legitimate hope that there was going to be any difference from the last person? REI has also spoken out against wild horses in years past since they support Audubon and Sierra club so well. How Nice Exxon/Mobile now controls the wild lands.

    February 6, 2013
  • I can’t put my comments in print.

    February 6, 2013
  • Barbara Leonard

    This is hard to say since I’ve been a lifelong democrat (and I’m old) about a democratic president, but OBAMA NEEDS TO BE IMPEACHED, hell, we need to impeach each & every one of our politicians that pander to big money. When will people actually get mad enough to take this country back and REDO our government from scratch? This is war!

    February 6, 2013
  • Barbara Leonard: This certainly is not a reason for impeachment.. did you read what Mustang Man said? We think that we are huge, and our voice matters the most. Did you not hear the huge number of Americans that have been screaming Drill,baby drill, still from the days of Sarah Palin? Did you not hear Mitt Romney say that he would turn over all federal lands to the states to use for industry as they wished? We are unfortunately just another advocacy. Do we have the political pull of the Sierra Club. the HSUS or the Audubon Club? I am not saying that we should stop speaking out, but we must be realistic. We wanted Raul to be nominated.. I did too. But when I spoke with one of his senior staff members several months ago, she told me that he would never be confirmed by the Senate because of his position with the Progressive Democratic Caucus. Just two days ago, he was one of the two from that Caucus that announced their support of VAWA. I just don’t think that Hating against the President is going to help our cause for the next four years. I think that pointing out the irresponsible actions of the BLM that have been hidden from the public, and pushing for transparency for the use of the Federal Lands… and working to make certain that the cattle use is reduced…and the lands that are given over to energy can ultimately be used both to make energy and feed horses. I guess I am used to that scene in Texas, because for years, I have seen pumping oil wells with horses and cattle grazing calmly close by. Unfortunately, probably the majority of Americans care more about gas prices, and even continue to allow the air that we breathe and the water that we drink to become contaminated. We are fighting for something as fundamental as acknowledging climate change and green house gasses. The President is in the green corner… We could be in much worse shape, politically. And as far as taking back the country, I would love it. if the far left who seem to care more about people and animals and the planet could take over, but I just don’t see that happening.

    February 6, 2013
  • Elaine Brown

    This week I was expelled from further conversation with a horsewoman in my area who boards 80 or so horses. The reason? She does not like my stand against overgrazing by the cattle ranchers apparently because the wild horses ruin the federal lands; because she is hard right wing; and because apparently she does not care about the wild horses, horse slaughter, wolves, whales, seals, polar bears or any wildlife.

    Right wing is right wing. Will Sally Jewell care? We will only know after she serves, but that does not stop us from firing these questions to her and those responsible for confirming her now.

    February 7, 2013
  • J. L. Blinne

    Deep in my heart, I knew Pres Obama would not choose a replacement for Salazar that cared anything whatsoever about either the environment or wildlife – because Pres. Obama doesn’t really care about either. We’ve had the worst Interior secretary in history and now we have an oil/banking industry insider positioned to take his place. Who cares if she’s a woman? When they talk about her as an outdoorsperson, she could be an avid hunter. I hope her nomination does not go through with every fiber of my being. She’s just another right winger at heart.

    February 17, 2013
    • Elaine Brown

      I hope you are wrong. The questions you bring up should be asked in the committee meetings held to approve her. Do you know where they will be held and who sits on that committee? We need to contact those members with the questions.

      It is my understanding that Raul Grijalva who most of us wanted would have never gotten through approval because of his Chairmanship of the Progressive Caucus.

      I tend to disagree with you about Obama and the environment. I just think he operates as FDR did who said, and I am paraphrasing, “Okay, I hear you, now make me”.

      February 18, 2013