Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today praised President Obama's intent to nominate Janice M. Schneider as Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (ASLM). If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Schneider would oversee Interior agencies and initiatives for the sustainable management of our public lands and offshore waters and the associated federal energy and mineral resources.
"Janice's expertise in natural resource, energy development and environmental law and policy will enable us to continue to safely and responsibly expand America's conventional and renewable energy exploration and development under President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy," said Jewell. "With experience in both the public and private sectors, she will be an advocate for a balanced approach and a science-based decision-making process that both advances the President's key energy initiatives and promotes the conservation of our federal lands and natural resources."
Schneider is currently a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington, D.C., where she is the Local Department Chair in the Environmental, Land & Resources Department and Global Co-Chair of the Energy and Infrastructure Project Siting and Defense Practice Group. Her legal career has focused on providing comprehensive scientific and environmental services in the fields of renewable and conventional energy infrastructure development, including oil and gas projects, coal, leasable mineral and hard rock mining, solar, wind and geothermal projects, electric transmission and pipeline projects, and hydropower project licensing and operation. She has extensive knowledge of the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and related issues associated with federal decision-making, including wildlife and wetlands protection, cultural resource protection, conservation land acquisition, marine mammal and coastal zone issues.
During her federal career, she served as Counselor to the Deputy Secretary of Interior (2000); trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division (2001 and 1998-1999); and Attorney-Advisor in Interior's Office of the Solicitor (1993 to 1998).
Schneider received a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR) in 1992 with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law, and was recently honored by the school with their Distinguished Environmental Law Graduate award (2013). She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Marine Science from the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL) in 1983. She is a member of the Bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia and has received a number of professional honors and awards from the legal community and federal agencies.
The Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management provides oversight to the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The Assistant Secretary guides the Department's management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, as well as the appropriate regulation of surface coal mining. Part of the mission as Assistant Secretary is a commitment to managing, protecting, and improving lands and waters to serve the needs of the American people for all times.
These agencies have a combined budget of more than $1.5 billion, more than 12,000 employees and are stewards of diverse onshore and offshore public resources, including oil, gas, and coal and hard rock minerals as well as recreation, rangelands, timber, watershed, fish and wildlife, wilderness, air and scenic, scientific and cultural values. The scope of their activities encompasses the continental U.S., large areas of Alaska and 1.7 billion acres of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. In many cases, management is based upon the principles of multiple use and sustained yield within a framework of environmental responsibility and scientific technology.
If Schneider is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would replace Tommy Beaudreau, who has led the office since January 2013. Beaudreau would remain Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, where he has guided offshore energy reform and development since September 2011.
"I would like to thank Tommy Beaudreau for his outstanding leadership at the Department of the Interior," said Secretary Jewell. "Tommy has been a strong advocate for effectively balancing the safe and responsible development of our nation's lands and waters with conservation and reclamation. I look forward to his continued leadership at Interior."
Energy produced from Interior lands and offshore areas in Fiscal Year 2012 contributed $230 billion to the national economy and supported 1.2 million jobs. Interior's renewable energy activities nationwide contributed $4.4 billion and supported 18,000 jobs. Since 2009, Interior has carried out Obama Administration initiatives that promoted responsible conventional and renewable energy development offshore and onshore by improving coordination with state, local, federal and industry partners. Domestic oil and gas production has grown each year President Obama has been in office, with domestic oil production currently higher than at any time in two decades; natural gas production at its highest level ever; and renewable electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources having doubled.