Rep. Deb Haaland, Joe Biden’s nominee for Interior secretary, has plenty of ‘splaining to do about her past comments about fossil fuels. Those comments are giving Republican senators pause in committing to supporting her nomination. Joining in with Republicans is Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin admits he is in the undecided column. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voiced her displeasure about that on social media.
AOC reached back to Manchin’s vote in favor of former senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general in the Trump administration. She even included Reagan in her rant on Twitter.
“Jeff Sessions was so openly racist that even Reagan couldn’t appoint him,” the New York congresswoman tweeted on Monday, in reference to former President Trump’s first attorney general. “Manchin voted to confirm him. Sessions then targeted immigrant children for wide-scale human rights abuses w/ family separation. Yet the 1st Native woman to be Cabinet Sec is where Manchin finds unease?”
Jeff Sessions was so openly racist that even Reagan couldn’t appoint him.
Manchin voted to confirm him. Sessions then targeted immigrant children for wide-scale human rights abuses w/ family separation.
Yet the 1st Native woman to be Cabinet Sec is where Manchin finds unease? https://t.co/wyki5iE36Y
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 22, 2021
The implication, apparently, is that Manchin must be racist to not automatically throw his support to a Native American nominee. For most Democrats, especially the woke ones, identity politics trumps all else.
.@DebHaalandNM is a profound public servant and champion for working families.
Her appointment as Sec of the Interior would be historic, and her leadership holds the promise of progress for our country.
Call your Senator to support her confirmation. 📞pic.twitter.com/Kq9mlYmHMe
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 22, 2021
AOC and Haaland are allies in the Green New Deal. Haaland was an early supporter. Haaland is a member of the keep-it-in-the-ground chorus against fossil fuels. Her fight against oil and gas drilling on public lands hurts her own state – New Mexico. New Mexico heavily relies on oil and gas revenues.
Her detractors have zeroed in on her activism, especially her forthright denunciations of any and all oil and gas exploration on public land and her fierce opposition to the natural gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
“Representative Haaland has a long record as a vehement opponent of American fossil fuels,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, one of the nation’s largest oil, gas and coal producing states, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will consider her nomination this week.
Ms. Haaland, a citizen of Laguna Pueblo, one of the country’s 574 federally recognized tribes, would also become the face of one of Mr. Biden’s most divisive climate change policies, his pledge to ban all fracking on public lands.
New Mexicans are speaking out against her nomination.
There is also opposition in her own home state, where the $2 billion generated annually by oil and gas production on public lands make up nearly a quarter of New Mexico’s budget.
“A permanent ban would devastate New Mexico’s economy,” said Ryan Flynn, executive director of New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. “The consequences on New Mexico would be more severe than any other state.”
Haaland is more aggressively against America’s fossil fuel energy sector than Joe Biden. Remember on the campaign trail when Biden lied and said he’d never cause a loss of oil and gas jobs and he’d not stop fracking? Then he was elected and promptly signed an executive order during “Day One” that created the loss of thousands of oil and gas jobs. He’s completely caved to the far left and their climate change alarmism, regardless if it is scientifically practical or not. It’s all about feeling good, as though they are single-handedly saving the planet. I’m surprised they don’t wear capes.
Some of Ms. Haaland’s past environmental positions have gone further than those of Mr. Biden, who has sought to reassure the oil and gas industry and labor unions that his plans do not include shutting down existing drilling and fracking on public lands. Ms. Haaland was an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal — the resolution written by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, and Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat — which calls for the United States to eradicate fossil fuel pollution within a decade.
“I am wholeheartedly against fracking and drilling on public lands,” Ms. Haaland told The Guardian in 2019.
Her congressional campaign sponsored the People’s Demand for Climate Change, a petition demanding that governments “pledge to an outright and immediate ban on fracking.” In 2016, Ms. Haaland joined the Standing Rock Sioux protesters in North Dakota who camped out for months in opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Senator Manchin is one of a dying breed – a moderate Democrat. Sometimes he votes with Republicans, especially on energy issues, and against the Green New Deal malarkey. West Virginia is coal country and he never forgets that. Haaland plans to highlight her own personal story and her “hardscrabble background” as a Native American.
Haaland may be able to pick up enough support among Republican senators to be confirmed. Senator Dan Young, a Republican from Alaska (an energy state), supports her and will introduce her in her hearing. Senator Steve Daines of Montana (another energy state) voted to confirm both Jennifer Granholm for energy secretary and Pete Buttigieg for the transportation secretary. He’s under pressure now from activist environmental groups to vote yes on Haaland. So far he is on the fence due to her past anti-oil and gas comments.
We’ll see how convincing Haaland can be with her assurances that she is open to discussion on all sources of energy now that she’s up for a cabinet position. She can always do what Biden did and just lie to get the job.