Coal “is certainly very, very important,” she said during the three-hour session on Capitol Hill, while pledging to bring her “experience to bear on multiple uses of public lands and [an] all-of-the-above energy strategy.” Jewell also highlighted her experience working with energy and mining companies in Alaska.
She conceded a lack of familiarity with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Stream Protection Rule, but added her past support for a carbon tax with beliefs climate change is a true threat. This view, she added, is irrelevant to her new position as the Obama administration has ruled out pursuing such a tax.
Alaska Republican and ranking Energy and Natural Resources Committee member Lisa Murkowski recognized Jewell’s energy background, but noted less experience, and “less familiarity with public lands policy than many past nominees.” Wyoming Republican John Barrasso, meanwhile, said Jewell’s membership in the National Parks Conservation Association was “unsettling” and “a fundamental conflict of interest” given the numerous lawsuits the association has brought against the department.
Others were more positive, including Committee Chairman and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden who said he plans a nomination vote “as quickly as possible.”