NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Senator Maria Cantwell on Sally Jewell: “I know that science will be her compass”

Edi­tor’s Note: The fol­low­ing is the text of Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell’s speech on behalf of Inte­ri­or nom­i­nee Sal­ly Jew­ell, deliv­ered on the floor of the Unit­ed States Sen­ate ear­li­er today. (Jew­ell was con­firmed by a vote of 87–11). Video of the speech is avail­able on YouTube. Our thanks to Sen­a­tor Cantwell for shar­ing her remarks with our read­ers here on The Advo­cate as a guest post.

Mr. Pres­i­dent, I join my col­leagues from the North­west to come to the floor this after­noon to speak in sup­port of the nom­i­na­tion of Sal­ly Jew­ell as Sec­re­tary of Inte­ri­or. And, like my col­leagues from the North­west, I want to express how much we appre­ci­ate her will­ing­ness to serve and how proud we are of her lega­cy and inter­est in a vari­ety of issues so far. And, obvi­ous­ly, the Depart­ment of Inte­ri­or — with its broad range of ser­vices — is so impor­tant to us, includ­ing every­thing from our Nation­al Parks, to our wildlife refuges, to off­shore drilling lease man­age­ment, to the impor­tant sci­ence done by the US Geo­log­i­cal Ser­vice and many oth­er things.

In fact, I read that the Depart­ment of the Inte­ri­or was called the “Depart­ment of Every­thing Else.” As a nom­i­nee, Ms. Jew­ell came before our com­mit­tee and I want to thank her fam­i­ly for their will­ing­ness to sup­port her — and their efforts to come to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Because Sal­ly is the exact type of lead­er­ship we need at the Depart­ment of Inte­ri­or. She rep­re­sents a bal­anced per­son who knows how to help a grow­ing busi­ness like she did, and served on the Uni­ver­si­ty Board of Regents, and also worked on the non­par­ti­san Nation­al Parks Con­ser­va­tion Association.

She has done every­thing in busi­ness from deal­ing with oil fields in Okla­homa to com­mer­cial bank­ing to — of late — run­ning REI, one of our most suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies in the Pacif­ic Northwest.

So I know she has the kind of lead­er­ship that it takes to fig­ure out these issues – about best use of pub­lic lands or the vig­or­ous chal­lenges the Depart­ment faces when it comes to mod­ern­iz­ing the bureau­cra­cy or think­ing about cli­mate change at the same time you are talk­ing about deep-water drilling.

So it’s a myr­i­ad of things that we have to forge through and Sal­ly Jew­ell is the right per­son with the right bal­ance to get that done.

Hav­ing grown up in Wash­ing­ton where over forty per­cent of our land is pub­lic land, Sal­ly under­stands these West­ern issues – whether it’s water rights or salmon recov­ery or under­stand­ing the impact on water lev­els, fire sea­son, wildlife on BLM lands, or the impor­tance of access to hunt­ing and fish­ing – I guar­an­tee, because she grew up there, Sal­ly Jew­ell under­stands these issues.

And I know that she’s been involved in many orga­ni­za­tions to express that. And that has been a good train­ing ground for her. I’m con­fi­dent because she is trained engi­neer, she’s going to bring a very prag­mat­ic can-do atti­tude to the Inte­ri­or Department’s man­age­ment and prob­lem-solv­ing effort.

I know that sci­ence will be her com­pass and I know that she is not going to have an ide­o­log­i­cal bent. But she’s going to have a get it done men­tal­i­ty. Giv­en the impor­tance of the Inte­ri­or Department’s agen­cies and very chal­leng­ing mis­sion, I’m excit­ed that we are going to have some­body with the busi­ness back­ground and a sci­ence back­ground at the Depart­ment of Interior.

So I hope that our col­leagues will vote today to move Ms. Jew­ell out of the Unit­ed States Sen­ate so that we can get her into the Depart­ment of Inte­ri­or. So that she can begin this impor­tant job and con­tin­ue to move our nation’s agen­da for­ward. As the Chair­woman of the Indi­an Affairs Com­mit­tee I look for­ward to work­ing with Ms. Jew­ell on all the issues relat­ed to Indi­an Coun­try as well.

There is much to accom­plish, much to address and I think that her back­ground is exact­ly what we need. So I hope my col­leagues will move quick­ly on this issue.

And I thank the Chair­man, Sen­a­tor Wyden [of Ore­gon], for his lead­er­ship in mov­ing her nom­i­na­tion through the process.

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One Comment

  1. Sal­ly Jew­ell was a sur­pris­ing pick but a good one. 

    # by Arjun Kanuri :: May 2nd, 2013 at 10:49 PM
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