Interior Secretary Pick Sally Jewell Is No Gem

Sally Jewell

President Obama’s pick for Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, has kind of flown under the radar with the big snow storm and the recent hearings on Capitol Hill.  Jewell is a radical environmentalist who used investor dollars to advance her agenda while she was in the private sector. Just think what she’ll do in the public sector.

Kimberly Strassel gave us a peak into Jewell’s past. Let’s just say she’s no gem.

Far from a creative choice, Ms. Jewell is just the newest addition to Mr. Obama’s second-term team of loyal ideologues. It is in fact Ms. Jewell’s (relatively unknown) history on the environmental fringe, and her liberal policy prescriptions, that surely made this an easy Obama call. The president knows he can rely on Ms. Jewell to do for the federal government exactly what she’s done at an activist level: Lock up land, target industries, kill traditional jobs.

There are companies that strive to be environmentally responsible. And then there is a different category of firms altogether—those on the radical extreme, which use investor dollars to wage open green activism. REI is among these. Ms. Jewell, who joined the REI board in 1996 and rose to CEO in 2005, has been central to campaigns that have squelched thousands of jobs in the name of environmental purity.

REI, for instance, actively supported the Clinton-era Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which in 2001 locked up a third of all national forests, dealing another blow to logging and mining. When former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2006 announced she’d fight the Bush administration’s effort to inject some flexibility into the rule, she held her press conference at REI’s headquarters, flanked by Ms. Jewell. “We develop them, we log them, we mine them—we lose those assets forever,” complained Ms. Jewell at the event. REI’s well-heeled clientele ultimately got 58 million acres of “pristine” walking trails; Western loggers got to tell their kids they no longer had a job.

REI’s bigger influence, however, has come from funneling money to radical groups via the Conservation Alliance, a foundation it created with Patagonia, The North Face and Kelty in 1989. Ms. Jewell was lauded by the group in 2010 for committing REI to giving more than $100,000 a year to this outfit.

Read the whole thing, it gets even worse.