Obama’s pick to head Dept of Interior gets the nod from environmentalists

“Oil production on federal lands declined last year. Natural gas production on federal lands is in a free fall,” Kish added. “Western oil shale is under an Obama embargo, and our vast offshore energy resources must now wait another 5 years for development thanks to the president’s most recent 5 year [Outer Continental Shelf] plan.”

Jewell will also preside over the implementation of the first rules for hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — on federal lands. The controversial drilling method has been a target for environmental who argue that it poses risks to air and water quality.

“It is clear the Secretary of the Interior nominee has a passion for national parks, but the challenge is whether she will value our wild lands and wildlife in the face of endless pressure by industry to drill for fossil fuels in areas under Interior’s jurisdiction,” Snape added. “If she can stand strong against bad ideas such as Arctic oil drilling and fracking on public lands, then she will likely be a success. Nature needs a true champion at this point in history.”

Just last month, the Interior Department once again delayed a major fracking rule that would require oil and gas companies drilling on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in fracking.

“I have a great job at REI today, but there’s no role that compares than the call to serve my country as secretary of the Department of Interior,” said Jewel about her nomination.

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