Today, Wednesday, April 10th, 2013, the Senate voted to confirm Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior by a vote of 87-11. Senator Murray gave a speech on the Senate floor in support of Jewell's nomination prior to the vote. Senator Murray talked about her strong working relationship with Sally Jewell, as they worked closely to create the Wild Sky Wilderness area and expand other important environmental protections throughout Washington state. Senator Murray also discussed how she expects Jewell will bring her skills as an effective CEO in the business community to the Cabinet.
"Sally will come to the Department of the Interior at a difficult time for our country," Senator Murray said in a speech on the Senate floor before the vote. "As a nation, we're working hard to protect our environment and invest in new technologies to meet our energy demands. And on the local level, including in my home state of Washington, Sally will face complex issues like protecting tribal lands and treaty rights. But I can think of no one better prepared for the task than Sally."
The full text of Senator Murray's speech follows:
"Mr. President, I rise today to urge my colleagues to vote in support of Sally Jewell, who has been nominated to serve as Interior Secretary.
"I was thrilled when President Obama nominated Sally for this position, and I could not be more excited to support her confirmation.
"Sally will come to the Department of the Interior at a difficult time for our country.
"As a nation, we're working hard to protect our environment and invest in new technologies to meet our energy demands.
"And on the local level, including in my home state of Washington, Sally will face complex issues like protecting tribal lands and treaty rights.
"But Mr. President, I can think of no one better prepared for the task than Sally.
"After she studied to become an engineer at the University of Washington, Sally left the Northwest for the oil fields of Oklahoma and Colorado where she learned about the energy sector from the inside out.
"From there, she moved from the outdoors to the board room and spent nearly two decades in finance, helping businesses grow and learning what it takes to succeed in the marketplace.
"Time and again, Sally has broken the mold to take on tough tasks - often in male-dominated industries.
"When she joined Recreational Equipment Incorporated, the Seattle-based outdoor retailer was struggling, but after eight years with Sally as CEO, REI is now thriving, topping $1 billion in sales while leading the charge to protect our environment.
"And finding that balance -- navigating the business world while keeping REI's commitment to the outdoors -- is what will make Sally great as our next Interior Secretary.
"Mr. President, perhaps better than anyone, Sally knows that businesses and the environment both benefit when we're committed to protecting our National parks and promoting our natural treasures.
"At REI, Sally's proven that sustainability and responsibility make sense for the environment and the company's bottom line.
"In Washington state, she's worked closely with me to help create the Wild Sky Wilderness area and expand other important environmental protections throughout our state.
"She has worked with industry and environmentalists to expand recreation opportunities throughout the Northwest, and helped us work toward permanently protecting BLM lands in the San Juan Islands, truly a gem of Washington state, recently declared a National Monument.
"She's backed crucial public-private partnerships that create jobs through recreation, and she's supported groundbreaking programs to get young people involved in the outdoors.
"Whether it is forest lands in the Northwest, mineral deposits in the Southwest, or oil reserves along our coastlines, Sally will lead an Interior Department where economic growth and long-term sustainability go hand in hand.
"I urge all my colleagues to vote in support of Sally Jewell.
"Thank you. I yield the floor."