Senate schedules confirmation hearing on Sally Jewell’s nomination as Interior Secretary

WASHINGTON — The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a confirmation hearing March 7 to consider REI Chief Executive Sally Jewell’s nomination to become the next Interior Secretary.

President Obama nominated Jewell earlier this month to succeed Ken Salazar, who said he will leave the administration at the end of March and return to Colorado.

The hearing will be led by committee Chairman  Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon.

Jewell, an avid mountain climber and skier who worked as a banker and a petroleum engineer, would be taking on a department with a dual mission of protecting public lands while tapping timber, coal, gas and other wealth from them.

Already, Jewell’s nomination has drawn attention from interest groups, ranging from mountain bikers who want to lift the ban from their pursuits in national parks to east coast governors who want drilling permitted off the Atlantic Coast.