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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I rise today to join my colleagues and urge them to vote in support of Sally Jewell, who has been nominated to serve as Interior Secretary. I thank Senator Wyden for all of his work in moving her through this process to today. I was thrilled when President Obama nominated Sally for this position, and I couldn't be more excited to support her confirmation.

Sally is going to come to the Department of the Interior at a difficult time for our country. As a nation, we are working very 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 is going to face some complex issues, such as protecting tribal lands and treaty rights. But I can think of no one better prepared for this task than Sally.

After she studied at the University of Washington to become an engineer, Sally left the Northwest for the oilfields of Oklahoma and Colorado, where she learned about the energy sector from the inside out. She moved from the outdoors--as you can see from this picture--to the boardroom 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, it was struggling. But after 8 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. Perhaps better than anyone, Sally knows that businesses and the environment both benefit when we are committed to protecting our national parks and promoting our national treasures. At REI, Sally has proven that sustainability and responsibility make sense for the environment and the company's bottom line.

In Washington State, she has worked closely with me to help create the Wild Sky Wilderness area and expand our other important environmental protections throughout our State. She has worked with industry and environmentalists to expand recreational opportunities throughout the Northwest and has helped us work toward permanently protecting BLM lands in the San Juan Islands, where my colleague Senator Maria Cantwell was at the forefront. That is truly a gem of Washington State and has recently been declared a national monument.

Sally has backed crucial public-private partnerships that create jobs through recreation, and she has supported groundbreaking programs to get young people involved in the outdoors.

So whether it is our forest lands in the Northwest or mineral deposits in the Southwest or oil reserves along our coastlines, Sally is going to lead an Interior Department where economic growth and long-term sustainability go hand in hand.

I am here today to urge my colleagues to vote in support of Sally Jewell, and I am really pleased she has been nominated. Again, I thank Senator Wyden for all of his work in getting her to this point in this process.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.


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