The Senate voted to confirm President Joe Biden’s characteristically radical pick to lead the Department of Interior Monday, New Mexico Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland.
One of the original co-sponsors of the Green New Deal in the House, which earned her the nickname “Green New Deal champion” by New York Democrat-socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the upper chamber voted to confirm Haaland 51-40 over Republican objections focused on the congresswoman’s activist animosity towards fossil fuels.
“Representative Haaland has a hostile record towards made in America energy, natural resource development, and wildlife and land management,” said Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines in a Monday statement, who placed a hold on Haaland’s confirmation to protest the nomination.
Yet Haaland, who was elected to Congress in 2018 as a climate activist, emerged through the procedural delay and will now lead the agency overseeing 20 percent of U.S. land with nearly a quarter of the nation’s oil and gas production. Haaland’s activist history, which includes standing with protestors against the South Dakota Access Pipeline Project, spells bad news for American energy.
While praising the importance of fossil fuels in her Senate confirmation hearing to appease Republican concerns, Haaland has maintained she is “wholeheartedly against fracking and drilling on public lands,” despite such activity serving as the lifeblood of her home state’s economy.
New Mexico, the nation’s largest beneficiary of public land drilling, now faces economic ruin from Biden’s pause on oil and gas leases on federal lands, which is likely to become permanent. Within his first two months in office, Biden also yanked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline and ordered the Interior Department, which Haaland will now lead, to review existing permits for oil and gas operations on federal land.
“If I am confirmed as secretary, I would be serving at the pleasure of the president, and it would be his agenda that I would move forward,” Haaland told Senate lawmakers.
Haaland will also be the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary.
The upper chamber also voted Monday to confirm liberal North Carolina environmental activist Michael Regan last week, raising more concerns over Biden’s energy agenda.
“Michael Regan and Deb Haaland place a very high priority on eliminating American conventional energy production and use,” said Heartland Institute President James Taylor, who leads the libertarian think tank. “One cannot vote to confirm either nominee and thereafter claim to be looking out for affordable energy or the many workers in the coal, oil, or natural gas industries.”
Since the Democratic primary, Biden gave contradictory answers on his position about a ban on hydraulic fracturing, even as he put an original co-sponsor of the Senate’s version of the Green New Deal on the ticket.
During one fall presidential debate, Biden claimed he opposed the Green New Deal, which mandates the rapid decarbonization of the American economy under a socialist agenda. The Biden campaign website, however, maintained a statement claiming the former vice president’s support for the left-wing proposal.
The new president’s picks to lead the nation’s most powerful agencies over public lands confirm Biden’s commitment to an extremist left environmental agenda.