THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR...
PRESIDENT OBAMA INTRODUCED HIS NOMINEE TO REPLACE OUTGOING SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR KEN SALAZAR. SALLY JEWELL IS CURRENTLY THE C-E-O OF OUTDOOR RETAILER R-E-I SHE SAID SHE WAS HUMBLED AND ENERGIZED BY THE CHANCE TO SERVE, AND SHE THANKED THE SECRETARY FOR ALL HE'S DONE OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS.
"I look forward to working with the dedicated employees at Interior who work so hard to care for our land and our resources every day. I'm going to do my best to fill those big boots of yours -- but I think I might get lost in your hat."
THE PRESIDENT ALSO THANKED THE SECRETARY, WHO HE FIRST MET WHEN BOTH WERE FRESHMEN U-S SENATORS IN 2005.
"I came to appreciate quickly not just his friendship -- which, if you've got Ken Salazar as a friend, you've got a real friend. Not only did I come to appreciate his jump shot -- he is surprisingly quick on the court -- (laughter) -- but also his patriotism, and his belief that we've got a responsibility to care for the land with which we've been blessed."
"I'm proud of our historic work -- and perhaps more proud of this than almost anything else -- for the nation's first Americans. From resolving the longstanding conflicts like Cobell to delivering clean drinking water to places like the Navajo nation, you have given credibility, Mr. President, to the proposition that the nation's first Americans, too, will share in the American Dream."
MEANWHILE THE SECRETARY WAS ONE OF THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS THIS WEEK AT THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON RENEWABLE ENERGY'S NATIONAL POLICY FORUM. THE SECRETARY SALUTED SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN RAPID AND RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR, WIND AND GEO-THERMAL ENERGY ON INTERIOR-MANAGED PUBLIC LANDS AND OFFSHORE WATERS.
AND AS PART OF THE PRESIDENT'S ALL-OF-THE ABOVE ENERGY STRATEGY... 38 MILLION ACRES OFF THE SHORES OF LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA ARE GOING UP FOR AUCTION FOR OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT. THE GULF AUCTION WILL BE HELD NEXT MONTH IN THE NEW ORLEANS SUPERDOME. IT BUILDS ON TWO PREVIOUS AUCTIONS HELD IN 2012. U-S DOMESTIC GAS AND OIL PRODUCTION IS NOW AT ITS HIGHEST LEVELS SINCE 19-95.
MORE THAN 2-POINT-7 MILLION PEOPLE ACROSS NINE STATES TAKING PART THIS WEEK IN A MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE DRILL. IT'S ALL PART OF THE 2013 GREAT CENTRAL U-S SHAKEOUT, THE LATEST IN A SERIES OF NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS DRILLS. THE U-S GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, WHICH CREATED THE SHAKEOUTS, SAYS THE DRILLS HELP EMERGENCY MANAGERS UNDERSTAND BETTER WHAT THE POTENTIAL DAMAGES AND LOSSES MIGHT BE IN THE EVENT OF A MAJOR QUAKE.
AND THE WORLD'S OLDEST KNOWN WILD BIRD IS A MOTHER..AGAIN...AT THE AGE OF *62*. FISH AND WILDLIFE OFFICIALS SAY THE LAYSAN ALBATROSS CALLED *WISDOM* HAS HATCHED A CHICK ON MIDWAY ATOLL FOR THE SIXTH YEAR IN A ROW. WISDOM WAS FIRST BANDED ON MIDWAY IN 1956 WHEN SHE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE ABOUT FIVE YEARS OF AGE. SCIENTISTS SAY SHE HAS LIKELY RAISED MORE THAN 30 TO 35 CHICKS TO ADULTHOOD IN HER LONG LIFE.
THAT'S THIS WEEK... AT INTERIOR.