President Obama nominated Sally Jewell to serve as Secretary of the Interior on Wednesday, drawing praise from both conservation groups and the energy industry.
Jewell, who currently serves as president and CEO of REI, is on the board of the National Parks Conservation Association. Earlier in her career, she was a petroleum engineer with Mobil, reports Politico.
The Secretary of the Interior heads a department which oversees national parks and controls energy and mining operations on millions of acres of public lands, notes the Associated Press.
The previous secretary, Ken Salazar, "devoted much of his tenure to both promoting renewable energy on public land and managing the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill," according to The Washington Post.
At a White House ceremony on Wednesday, President Obama praised Jewell, saying, "She is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future." He added, "She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand. She has shown that a company with more than $1 billion in sales can do the right thing for our planet."
League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in an emailed statement, "She’s the right choice to promote conservation and protect America’s national treasures." The organization also praised Salazar's work over the past four years.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune cheered Obama's nominee, and called on her to "[protect] America’s Arctic from risky drilling, and [keep] dirty and dangerous fracking out of our public lands."
Jewell also drew praise from the oil and gas industry. Tim Wigley, president of the Western Energy Alliance, said in a statement, "Her experience as a petroleum engineer and business leader will bring a unique perspective to an office that is key to our nation's energy portfolio."