Land Use Policies of Interior Nominee Are a Concern

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 7, 2013 – Yesterday, President Obama nominated Sally Jewell, CEO of REI, the outdoor and camping gear retailer, to be Secretary of the Interior. Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, had the following to say about Jewell’s appointment:

“Although we don’t know a lot about Ms. Jewell’s positions on the numerous policy matters that come before the Department of the Interior, we don’t view her as radical an environmentalist as are some of the other rumored candidates. And given that President Obama seems incredibly misinformed about climate science, we don’t believe she can make climate policy from this administration much worse.

“The current Interior Department has favored more preservation over continued multiple use of the federal lands in nearly every major policy decision. Ms. Jewell appears to have a strong personal interest in non-motorized recreation on federal lands – camping, hiking and climbing. We hope that her personal preferences do not cause her to favor locking up yet more federal lands, so that they are taken out of productive uses, such as oil and gas production, grazing,and timber production. In particular, we hope she will oppose any new massive National Monument designations. Instead of continuing to destroy economic activity in the rural West, we should be working to de-federalize the West by selling or turning over to the states underperforming federal assets.”