Senate Republicans say Interior pick Deb Haaland has “radical views” on Big Oil – By Rachel Ramirez (VOX) / Feb 23 2021
She does — and that’s a good thing.
“I acknowledge that we are on the ancestral homelands of the Nacotchtank, Anacostan, and Piscataway people,” Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico said in her opening remarks on the first day of her Senate confirmation hearing to lead the Interior Department.
It’s likely the first time a Cabinet nominee acknowledged tribal lands upon testifying before the Senate. If confirmed, Haaland — a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe — would also be the first Native American Cabinet secretary in history.
But it is her pledge to protect the environment and tribal communities that has some in the Republican Party up in arms. In the days leading up to Tuesday’s hearing, Republican Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana, both of whom have financial ties to the oil industry, have attacked Haaland’s plans to transition away from fossil fuels and threatened to block her nomination.
Barrasso — the top Republican official on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which is considering Haaland’s nomination — said he is “troubled by many of [Haaland’s] radical views,” such as her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and support for the Green New Deal, both of which are supported by the majority of Democratic voters. The Wyoming senator, who has taken close to $1.2 million from Big Oil since his election to the Senate in 2007, pressed Haaland about her personal views on President Joe Biden’s executive actions to temporarily pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands, and demanded she provide evidence that fracking actually contributes to the climate crisis.