THIS WEEK.. AT INTERIOR…
[applause and cheering]
Good morning..good morning…thank you so much.
A ROUSING INTERIOR WELCOME THIS WEEK FOR FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA, WHO STOPPED BY THE YATES AUDITORIUM TO THANK THE DEPARTMENT'S EMPLOYEES FOR THEIR SERVICE TO THE NATION. MRS. OBAMA PRAISED INTERIOR'S CORE MISSIONS OF CONSERVATION, ENERGY DEVELOPMENT, IMPROVED TRIBAL RELATIONS, AND THE PRESERVATION OF THE NATION'S TREASURED PARKS AND LANDMARKS… SHE WELCOMED ABOARD OUR NEW INTERIOR SECRETARY SALLY JEWELL… BUT SHE SAVED HER MOST GRACIOUS WORDS FOR THE MORE THAN 70-THOUSAND INTERIOR EMPLOYEES WHO CONTINUE TO WORK HARD IN A TIME OF TIGHT BUDGETS AND UNCERTAIN FUTURES.
On behalf of myself and the President and the First Family I want to say thank you. Thank you, thank you. I want you to know how proud we are of all that you do, we want you to know how grateful we are to your families for the sacrifices you make oftentimes to do what you do. So hang in there.
MRS OBAMA MADE A SIMILAR VISIT TO INTERIOR AT THE BEGINNING OF HER HUSBAND'S FIRST TERM.
A FIRST FOR THE NEW SECRETARY, AS SALLY JEWELL TOOK PART IN A PUBLIC WEBCHAT TO MARK EARTH DAY AND NATIONAL PARK WEEK. THE SECRETARY TALKED ABOUT HER BACKGROUND IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY, WORKING WITH RANCHERS AND INDIAN TRIBES, THEN LATER HER CAREER AS AN EXECUTIVE WITH OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT RETAILER REI… ALL OF IT LEADING TO HER NOMINATION AND CONFIRMATION AS THE NATION'S 51ST INTERIOR SECRETARY.
I come to this job, my first opportunity to serve you, the public. There is no higher calling, from my perspective, than public service. I've seen that in the wonderful employees of the Department of the Interior that I've met, in what is now the beginning of my second week on the job… I really look forward to learning from the community members, learning from the stakeholder groups, and certainly learning from the employees of the Department of the Interior to help me do an effective job as I serve this country over the coming four years.
THIS WEEK THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED A NEW, 21-MILLION ACRE OIL AND GAS LEASE SALE OFF THE COAST OF TEXAS, IN THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO. IT'S ALL PART OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S ALL OF THE ABOVE ENERY STRATEGY, AND BUILDS ON TWO PREVIOUS SALES HELD LAST YEAR.
AND INTERIOR IS UPDATING ITS FEDERAL FLEET WITH HYBRID VEHICLES… SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ACTING CHIEF DAN TANGHERLINI THIS WEEK TO MAKE THAT ANNOUNCEMENT. INTERIOR WILL BE THE FIRST AGENCY TO PARTNER WITH GSA TO REPLACE UP TO 300 GASOLINE AND ALTERNATIVE FUELED VEHICLES WITH HYBRIDS… JEWELL CALLED IT A GOOD BUSINESS DECISION THAT BENEFITS THE BOTTOM LINE, AND REDUCES INTERIOR'S CARBON EMISSIONS.
MORE FIRSTS THIS WEEK FOR THE NEW SECRETARY…A TRIP TO RESTON VIRGINIA TO MEET AND GREET INTERIOR EMPLOYEES AT THE U-S GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, HER FIRST VISIT TO USGS AS SECRETARY…
THEN JEWELL TEAMED UP WITH KIDS FROM STONEWALL MIDDLE SCHOOL ON A TRIP TO PRINCE WILLIAM FOREST PARK TO MARK NATIONAL PARK WEEK. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NATURE-BRIDGE, THE PARK PROVIDES KIDS WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE AND LEARN IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS, EXTENDING CLASSROOM LEARNING WITH HANDS-ON WATER TESTING EXPERIMENTS OF THEIR OWN DESIGN.
THEN JEWELL AND PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR JON JARVIS HOSTED A LISTENING SESSION WITH STAKEHOLDERS TO EXPLORE WAYS IN WHICH TO LEVERAGE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS TO BETTER CONNECT YOUTH AND FAMILIES TO NATURE AND OUTDOOR RECREATION -- ONE OF THE MAJOR GOALS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS INITIATIVE -- AND TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUPPORT JOBS IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES.
THAT'S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.