"Jewell Nomination Clears First Senate Hurdle"

"The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Sally Jewell's nomination to become Interior Secretary by a vote of 19 to 3 on Thursday, after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar agreed to look again at whether to allow a road through Alaska's Izembek National Wildlife Refuge."

"Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the panel's top Republican, has lobbied hard in recent weeks for the construction of a gravel road through the wilderness area to ensure residents of the remote community King Cove have reliable access to a neighboring all-weather airport for medical emergencies. Eleven town residents have died in flights related to medical evacuations since 1980.

While the Fish and Wildlife Service determined in February that such a road would jeopardize the refuge's ecological integrity, Salazar issued a memo Wednesday pledging that the department's assistant secretary of Indian Affairs would both hold additional meetings with King Cove residents in Alaska and prepare a report on 'whether and to what extent the road is needed to meet medical emergency requirements of King Cove.'"

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post March 21, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Senate Panel Approves Obama's Choice for Interior Dept." (New York Times)

Source: Wash Post, 03/22/2013