cloudy.png
Friday September 17th, 2021 11:31AM

Interior nominee Haaland vows 'balance' on energy, climate

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil and natural gas will continue to play a major role in America for years to come, even as the Biden administration seeks to conserve public lands and address climate change, President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Interior Department pledged Tuesday.

Deb Haaland, a New Mexico congresswoman named to lead the Interior Department, said she is committed to “strike the right balance” as the agency manages energy development and seeks to restore and protect the nation's sprawling federal lands.

Biden's agenda, including the possible creation of a Civilian Climate Corps, “demonstrates that America’s public lands can and should be engines for clean energy production" and “has the potential to spur job creation," Haaland said at her confirmation hearing.

Haaland's remarks were intended to rebut criticism from some Republicans who have complained that her opposition to drilling on federal lands will cost thousands of jobs and harm economies throughout the West.

Haaland, 60, would be the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The Laguna Pueblo member and two-term congresswoman often draws on her experience as a single mother and the teachings of her ancestors as a reminder that action the U.S. takes on climate change, the environment and sacred sites will affect generations to come.

Native Americans see Haaland’s nomination as the best chance to move from consultation on tribal issues to consent and to put more land into the hands of tribal nations either outright or through stewardship agreements. The Interior Department has broad oversight of tribal affairs and energy development.

“The historic nature of my confirmation is not lost on me, but I will say that it is not about me,'' Haaland said. ”Rather, I hope this nomination would be an inspiration for Americans — moving forward together as one nation and creating opportunities for all of us.''

Under questioning from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Haaland said the U.S. will continue to rely on fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas, even as it moves toward Biden's goal of net zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

The transition to clean energy “is not going to happen overnight,” she said.

Manchin, who is publicly undecided on Haaland's nomination, appeared relieved, saying he supports “innovation, not elimination" of fossil fuels.

As the daughter of a Pueblo woman, Haaland says she learned early to value hard work. Her mother is a Navy veteran and worked for a quarter-century at the Bureau of Indian Education, an Interior Department agency. Her father was a Marine who served in Vietnam. He received the Silver Star and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

“As a military family, we moved every few years when I was a kid, 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.

The future congresswoman spent summers with her grandparents in Mesita, a Laguna Pueblo village. “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.

Haaland pledged to lead the Interior Department with honor and integrity and said she will be “a fierce advocate for our public lands.”

She promised to listen to and work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and ensure that the Interior Department's decisions are based on science. She also vowed to “honor the sovereignty of tribal nations and recognize their part in America’s story.''

She said she fully understands the role the Interior Department must play in Biden's “build back better” plan for infrastructure and clean energy and said she will seek to protect natural resources for future generations “so that we can continue to work, live, hunt, fish, and pray among them.''

Haaland's nomination has stirred strong opposition from some Republicans who say her “radical ideas” don’t fit in with a rural way of life, particularly in the West. They cite her support for the Green New Deal and Biden’s recent moratorium on oil and gas drilling on federal lands — which doesn’t apply to tribal lands — and her opposition to fracking and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said Haaland will have to convince him she's willing to break from what he called her “radical views” as a lawmaker, including opposition to the oil industry and to the lifting of federal protections for grizzly bears.

“Her record speaks for itself. She’s a die-hard, far-left ideologue,” Daines said in an interview.

Some Native American advocates called the description of Haaland as “radical” a loaded reference to her tribal status.

“That kind of language is sort of a dog whistle for certain folks that see somebody who is an Indigenous woman potentially being in a position of power,” said Ta’jin Perez with the group Western Native Voice. “Folks to some degree are afraid of change.”

Daines called the notion of racial overtones in his remarks outrageous.

National civil rights groups have joined forces with tribal leaders and environmental groups in supporting Haaland. A joint statement by the NAACP, UnidosUS and Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum praised her nomination as “historic” and called Haaland “a proven civil rights/racial justice advocate.”

A letter signed by nearly 500 national and regional organizations representing Native Americans, environmental justice groups and outdoor businesses called Haaland “a proven leader and the right person to lead the charge against the existential threats of our time: tackling the climate, biodiversity, extinction and COVID-19 crises and racial justice inequities on our federal public lands and waters.”

___

Associated Press writer Matthew Brown in Billings, Mont., contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Supreme Court won't halt turnover of Trump's tax records
In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court has declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor
4:25PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Biden to mourn 500,000 dead while balancing grief and hope
President Joe Biden is marking the loss of 500,000 American lives to COVID-19
4:21PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Weakness in Big Tech stocks leaves Wall Street mostly lower
Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Monday, dragged down by losses in several Big Tech companies
4:13PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Virginia lawmakers vote to abolish the death penalty
State lawmakers have given final approval to legislation ending capital punishment in Virginia
3:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Oklahoma opens second phase of COVID-19 vaccines
Oklahoma has opened its second phase of coronavirus vaccinations on Monday, providing inoculations to public school teachers and staff and to adults of any age with illnesses that make them susceptible to the virus
3:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
Greece: Dozens arrested in clashes over campus security law
Police in Greece have clashed with protesters and arrested 31 people in the country's second-largest city during a demonstration against a new campus security law
3:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Sports, events in New Jersey to soon allow fans
Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday fans will be allowed to attend sports and entertainment events at New Jersey’s largest facilities in limited numbers starting next week
12:48PM ( 3 hours ago )
Key senators oppose Biden budget pick, confirmation at risk
Moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah say they'll vote against confirming President Joe Biden’s nominee for budget director
11:50AM ( 4 hours ago )
Collins, Romney say they oppose Biden budget nominee Tanden
Moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah say they'll vote against confirming President Joe Biden’s nominee for budget director
11:25AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Stocks fall as investors mull inflation concerns, recovery
Stocks mostly fell in afternoon trading on Monday, adding to the declines that started last week as investors continue to be concerned about rising interest rates and the potential for inflation down the road
3:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Germany reopens some schools amid fears pandemic may rebound
Elementary students in more than half of Germany’s 16 states have returned to school after more than two months at home
3:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
Shops, haircuts return in April as UK lifts lockdown slowly
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a gradual easing of one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns on, saying children will return to class and people will be able to meet a friend for coffee in a park in two weeks’ time
3:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Stocks open lower on Wall Street; Boeing weighs on the Dow
Stocks fell in early trading on Monday, adding to the declines that started last week as investors continue to be concerned about rising interest rates and the potential for inflation down the road
10:30AM ( 6 hours ago )
Fukushima nuclear plant operator: Seismometers were broken
The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant says two seismometers at one of its three melted reactors have been out of order since last year and did not collect data when a powerful earthquake struck the area earlier this month
10:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
In 'Minari,' harvesting an American dream
Lee Isaac Chung's “Minari" wasn’t a large production
10:19AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Tennessee races to repair broken water mains in storm's wake
Workers in Tennessee are racing to fix water mains that failed in freezing temperatures as the South carries on with efforts to recover from the winter weather that paralyzed parts of the nation
1:00PM ( 1 day ago )
UAE weapons show draws major deals, traders amid pandemic
In spite of the surging coronavirus pandemic, major arms makers were descending on a convention center in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates
11:25AM ( 1 day ago )
Frozen pipes, electric woes remain as cold snap eases grip
Higher temperatures are spreading across the southern United States, bringing some relief to a region weary of winter
11:52PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Supreme Court won't halt turnover of Trump's tax records
In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court has declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor
4:25PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Biden to mourn 500,000 dead while balancing grief and hope
President Joe Biden is marking the loss of 500,000 American lives to COVID-19
4:21PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Weakness in Big Tech stocks leaves Wall Street mostly lower
Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Monday, dragged down by losses in several Big Tech companies
4:13PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Supreme Court rejects Trump election challenge cases
The Supreme Court has rejected a handful of cases related to the 2020 election, including disputes from Pennsylvania that had divided the justices just before the election
3:45PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Family of Americans held in Iran want any deal to free them
Family members of a father and son detained by Iran are appealing to President Joe Biden to make the freeing of Iranian American detainees a prerequisite in any deals with that country
3:38PM ( 54 minutes ago )