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Sally Jewell starts work as interior chief

April 16, 2013 at 7:03 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Interior Department has "smart decisions" to make in the way in which it manages the country's natural resources, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said.

Jewell started her first week in office as the 51st U.S. interior secretary. The Interior Department said Jewell started work on energy development and conservation shortly after a meet-and-greet with department employees.

"We have vast responsibilities to the American people, from making smart decisions about the natural resources with which we have been blessed," she said in a statement. "From energy development to tourism and outdoor recreation, our lands and waters power our economy and create jobs."

Jewell was chief executive officer of outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. and worked as a petroleum engineer for Mobil before it merged with Exxon.

When she was nominated in February, the American Petroleum Institute said it was upbeat given her experience in the oil and natural gas industry. Pro-environment groups said her record in conservation suggests she'll be a steward for the environment.

The Senate backed her nomination in an 87-to-11 vote. All of the votes against her nomination came from Republicans.

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