Sally Jewell is stepping into one of the most contentious jobs in the federal government. The new Interior secretary will have to walk a thin line between those who want to drill, run all-terrain vehicles, mine and graze on all public lands in the West and those who would like to see millions of acres protected for future generations.
The former REI chief executive, oil company employee and board member of the National Parks Conservation Association seems to be the perfect person for the job. Right out of the chute, she will encounter several issues that directly affect Utah.
Regarding oil shale and tar sands development, Jewell's predecessor, Ken Salazar, has bequeathed her a sensible plan that reduces the Bush administration's far too sweeping approval of 2.5 million development acres and substitutes a set of rules that focuses on research to determine the viability of the industry.