Manchin Throws Support Behind Interior Secretary Nominee After Tanden Opposition

Pablo Tucker
February 26, 2021

Deb Haaland, the first Native American ever picked for a USA cabinet post, pledged on Tuesday to oversee the country's vast public lands and waters in line with President Joe Biden's climate priorities, and was grilled by Republican Senators who want an Interior Secretary more welcoming of oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Manchin's support for Haaland likely secures her confirmation as the first Native American to hold a Cabinet position.

"I know that President Biden doesn't want to cripple any state", she said. The Interior Department has broad oversight over almost 600 federally recognized tribes as well as energy development and other uses for the nation's sprawling federal lands.

Manchin's support for Haaland's confirmation comes on the heels of his opposition to Neera Tanden, Biden's nominee for OMB.

Deb Haaland, a New Mexico congresswoman named to lead the Interior Department, tried to reassure GOP lawmakers, saying she is committed to "strike the right balance" as Interior manages oil drilling and other energy development while seeking to conserve public lands and address climate change. She told Hoeven she also would "listen to you and consult with you". "For all these reasons, I believe Deb Haaland will be a Secretary of the Interior for every American and will vote to confirm her".

The assertion came after Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) about whether she supports a permanent ban on uranium mining outside the Grand Canyon National Park.

Another common refrain when asked to defend past positions and statements was to stress her understanding that as Interior secretary her job and focus will change.

"I feel very strongly that sums up what we're dealing with", Haaland said during the second day of her confirmation hearing. "So I understand that role is to serve all Americans, not just my one district in New Mexico".

Despite Young's endorsement, Haaland faced an aggressive two hours of questioning and criticism from Republican senators on the committee.


The Trump administration previous year greenlighted the development, which lies within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, at the same time greatly increasing drilling access across the reserve and reducing long-standing restrictions.

Haaland acknowledged that she traveled to attend protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline project, which would largely transport Canadian oil through the United States-including through Native American land.

The project has since been tabled by developer ConocoPhillips for a season due to environmental litigation that delayed its winter preparation. The company said the delay affected more than 100 jobs.

Murkowski went on to say she didn't think Biden was "out to get" Alaskans but that she does think "there is a definite threat to the resource industry that our state is blessed to be able to host".

"If we can't produce oil resources within the National Petroleum Reserve, it causes one to question: Where?" The Congresswoman is ranked one of the top ten most liberal members of Congress. "It was in the cornfields with my grandfather where I learned the importance of water and protecting our resources and where I gained a deep respect for the Earth", she said. "She and I do not agree on carbon fuels", Mr.

At other times, Haaland recited generalities.

"You co-sponsored legislation that provided federal protections for the grizzly bear in perpetuity forever", Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) reminded her yesterday.

"It doesn't surprise me that they are attacking her", Braune said in an email.


Rep. Deb Haaland, D-NM, seems to be on throughout a Senate Committee on Vitality and Pure Sources listening to on her nomination to be Inside Secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. February 23, 2021. The panel's chair, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, noted approvingly that Haaland supports him in his fight to fund the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's abandoned coal mine cleanup program (E&E Daily, July 17, 2020).

A key ally on the committee was U.S. Sen.

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy asked Haaland if she had a prejudice against fossil fuels.

Haaland repeatedly emphasized that Biden's policy views would take precedence.

"I am ready to sit down to talk with you and the stakeholders in Utah", Haaland told Lee today.

If confirmed, Haaland will need to decide whether to maintain the Trump administration's controversial relocation of the Bureau of Land Management's headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo.

Haaland had previously criticized the move. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who said Haaland's stated beliefs about policies are "squarely at odds" with the mission of the Interior Department. "If I'm confirmed as secretary, it is President Biden's agenda, not my own agenda, that I would be moving forward", Haaland said.

"As a military family, we moved every few years. but no matter where we lived, my dad taught me and my siblings to appreciate nature, whether on a mountain trail or walking along the beach, " Haaland said.


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