WASHINGTON, D.C — Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis spoke on the Senate floor yesterday, March 11, urging her colleagues to vote against the upcoming confirmation vote for President Biden’s Secretary of the Interior nomination, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M).
Lummis joined Senator Steve Daines of Montana to put a procedural hold on Rep. Haaland’s nomination, citing concerns about “the radical climate agenda the Congresswoman has vocally supported.”
During her remarks on the floor, Sen. Lummis said, “Secretaries have an incredible amount of power to make decisions on how an Administration’s agenda gets implemented. Based on her own public statements and actions, Deb Haaland is more radical in her positions than President Biden.” Adding, “none of these facts are particularly encouraging to folks in Wyoming and the west, who will be devastated by the policies that Congresswoman Haaland plans to champion.”
“What we need is a secretary who understands the issues that westerners face. We need someone who knows the ways that states like Wyoming are contributing to America’s energy independence and doing so in increasingly environmentally friendly ways. We need someone who recognizes that if we shut down production at home, we are only increasing the power of polluters like Russia and China abroad,” said Lummis.
Rep. Haaland served as chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. In her opening statement during her senate confirmation hearing on Feb. 23, Haaland cited her experience, she said, “I understand how important the department is for all the stakeholders who rely on it, and the communities whose economies are connected to it.”
“There’s no question that fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in America for years to come. I know how important oil and gas revenues are to critical services, but we must also recognize that the energy industry is innovating, and our climate challenge must be addressed,” said Rep. Haaland.
“If confirmed, I will work my heart out for everyone, the families of fossil fuel workers who helped build our country, ranchers and farmers who care deeply for their lands, communities with legacies of toxic pollution, people of color whose stories deserve to be heard, and those who want jobs of the future,” said Rep.Haaland.
According to the University of Wyoming, the state stands to lose $13 billion in tax revenue if the Biden Ban on energy production on federal lands isn’t lifted. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wyoming produces 15 times the amount of energy it consumes, making it the highest net exporter of energy in the United States. Previously, Sen. Lummis introduced the POWER Act to overturn the Biden Ban and give Congress final decision-making authority on leasing issues.
Rep. Haaland stands to be confirmed with GOP senators signaling their support. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have announced their support for the nomination. Sen. Murkowski sits on the Senate Energy and Resource Committee, she was the lone Republican on the committee to support Halaand during her confirmation hearings. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) are also rumored to vote in favor of the nomination.
Yesterday, the Senate Cloakroom Twitter released the information about the scheduled vote.
Vote Scheduled: At 5:30pm on Monday, March 15th, the Senate will proceed to a vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #31 Debra Anne Haaland to be Secretary of the Interior @Interior
— Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) March 11, 2021
If confirmed, Haaland will be the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. Haaland is a 35th generation New Mexican who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, and also has Jemez Pueblo heritage.