House Natural Resources Public Lands and Environmental Regulation subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) released the following statement in reaction to reports that President Obama will nominate Recreational Equipment Inc. "REI" CEO Sally Jewell as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, replacing departing Secretary Ken Salazar
"I have some reservations about President Obama's selection of Sally Jewell. While I certainly respect her business expertise, the President had other options who possessed extensive experience with public policy in the west and the impacts of so much federally-owned land. Additionally, her company has intimately supported several special interest groups and subsequently helped to advance their radical political agendas. The jurisdiction of the Department of Interior is extremely broad and extends across many platforms, requiring the Secretary to take a balanced approach to both conservation and the responsible use of our lands and resources. Unfortunately, Utah's lands and resources have been a consistent target of this Administration and it is my hope that the next DOI Secretary takes a less heavy-handed approach when it comes to picking winners and losers. Since the House has no formal role in the nomination process, I will work with Senators Hatch and Lee to ensure that Sally Jewell's past record is fully vetted and made clear so that we have a better understanding of what her priorities and focus will be at the Department of Interior."
Fun Fact: Secretary Salazar's unveiling of the controversial and widely opposed Wild Lands proposal occurred outside REI's flagship store in Denver, CO. [photo