mcloudy.png
Sunday June 20th, 2021 5:34PM

Interior nominee Haaland questioned on drilling, pipelines

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Interior Department faced sharp questions from Republicans Tuesday over what several called her “radical” ideas that include opposition to fracking and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Deb Haaland, a New Mexico congresswoman named to lead the Interior Department, tried to reassure GOP lawmakers, saying she is committed to “strike the right balance” as Interior manages oil drilling and other energy development while seeking to conserve public lands and address climate change.

If confirmed, Haaland, 60, would be the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency.

Native Americans see her 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 over nearly 600 federally recognized tribes as well as energy development and other uses for the nation’s sprawling federal lands.

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

Haaland's hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was adjourned after nearly 2 1/2 hours and will resume Wednesday.

Under questioning from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the panel's chairman, 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.

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., was less impressed. He displayed a large chart featuring a quote from last November, before Haaland was selected to lead Interior, in which she said: “If I had my way, it'd be great to stop all gas and oil leasing on federal and public lands."

If confirmed as Interior secretary, "you will get to have it your way,'' Daines told Haaland.

She replied that Biden's vision — not hers — will set the course for Interior. "It is President Biden's agenda, not my own agenda, that I will be moving forward,'' Haaland said, an answer she repeated several times.

While Biden imposed a moratorium on oil and gas drilling on federal lands — which doesn’t apply to tribal lands — he has repeatedly said he does not oppose fracking. Biden rejected the long-pIanned Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office.

Haaland also faced questions over her appearance at protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota before she was elected to Congress in 2018.

Haaland said she went there in solidarity with Native American tribes and other “water protectors” who “felt they were not consulted in the best way'' before the multi-state oil pipeline was approved.

Asked by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., if she would oppose a renewal of the pipeline permit, Haaland said she would first ensure that tribes are properly consulted. She told Hoeven she also would "listen to you and consult with you.''

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said the GOP questions over oil drilling and pipelines revealed a partisan divide in the committee.

“I almost feel like your nomination is this proxy fight about the future of fossil fuels," Cantwell said, adding that Haaland had made clear her intention to carry out Biden’s clean-energy agenda. She and other Democrats “very much appreciate the fact that you’re doing that, and that’s what I think a president deserves with his nominee,'' Cantwell said.

In her opening statement, Haaland told lawmakers that as the daughter of a Pueblo woman, 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 ... 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 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 decisions are based on science. She also vowed to “honor the sovereignty of tribal nations and recognize their part in America’s story.''

Some Democrats and Native American advocates called the frequent 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.

In an op-ed in USA Today, former Sens. Mark and Tom Udall said Haaland's record "is in line with mainstream conservation priorities. Thus, the exceptional criticism of Rep. Haaland and the threatened holds on her nomination must be motivated by something other than her record.''

Mark Udall is an ex-Colorado senator, while cousin Tom Udall just retired as a New Mexico senator. Tom Udall's father, Stewart, was Interior secretary in the 1960s.

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

“I would love to see a Native American serve in the Cabinet. That would be a proud moment for all of us in this country. But this is about her record and her views,” he said in an interview.

National civil rights groups have joined forces with tribal leaders and environmental groups in supporting Haaland. A letter signed by nearly 500 national and regional organizations calls her “a proven leader and the right person to lead the charge against the existential threats of our time,'' including climate change and racial justice issues on federal lands.

___

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

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), 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.
Interior nominee Haaland questioned on drilling, pipelines
President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Interior Department faced sharp questions from Republicans Tuesday over what several called her “radical” ideas that include opposition to fracking and the Keystone XL oil pipeline
3:37PM ( 8 minutes ago )
South Dakota House moves to impeach AG after fatal crash
South Dakota House lawmakers have begun impeachment proceedings against the state’s attorney general, who is facing misdemeanor charges for striking and killing a man with his car
3:36PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Tiger Woods suffers leg injuries after California car crash
Authorities and Tiger Woods' manager say the golf star has suffered leg injuries in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and is undergoing surgery
3:31PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: After hearing on Jan. 6, chair calls for action
A Senate hearing examining what went wrong with the law enforcement response to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has ended
2:49PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Drug executives: Big jump in vaccine supply is coming soon
COVID-19 vaccine makers tell Congress to expect a big jump in the delivery of doses over the coming month
2:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Calif governor signs $7.6B virus relief package
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a $7.6 billion coronavirus relief package
2:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Fed's Powell: Recovery incomplete, high inflation unlikely
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell underscored the U.S. economy’s ongoing weakness Tuesday in remarks that suggested that the Fed sees no need to alter its ultra-low interest rate policies anytime soon
1:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Georgian opposition leader arrested, protesters set up camp
Demonstrators have set up tents outside Georgia’s parliament building and blocked the capital’s main avenue to protest the arrest of the leader of the country’s main opposition party
1:10PM ( 2 hours ago )
Indian Country gripped by Haaland hearing for top US post
For Native Americans, Deb Haaland is more than an elected official on track to become the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior Department
1:08PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Iran officially imposes curbs on UN nuclear inspections
Iran has officially started restricting international inspections of its nuclear facilities, a bid to pressure European countries and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to lift crippling economic sanctions and restore the 2015 nuclear deal
2:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
BLM in Italian Fashion campaign shows early tangible results
A digital runway show by five Italian fashion designers of African origin is opening Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday
1:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
Food fight: Meat-free school meals spark furor in France
The ecologist mayor of one of France’s most famously gastronomic cities has kicked up a storm of protest and debate by taking meat off the menu at school canteens
1:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
HHS nominee Becerra says pandemic will be top priority
President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary, Xavier Becerra, faces two days of contentious Senate hearings
10:45AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Israel to share some vaccines with Palestinians
Israel says it will share a small quantity of its coronavirus vaccines with the Palestinians and other unidentified countries
10:23AM ( 5 hours ago )
World Bank might suspend financing of vaccines to Lebanon
The World Bank has threatened to suspend financing for coronavirus vaccines in Lebanon over violations by members of parliament and others it said were inoculated without registering in advance
10:07AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Long-serving Saudi oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani dies at 90
Ahmed Zaki Yamani, a long-serving oil minister in Saudi Arabia who led the kingdom through the 1973 oil crisis and once found himself held hostage by the assassin Carlos the Jackal, has died in London
3:43AM ( 12 hours ago )
EPA changes stand, sides with ethanol industry in court case
The federal government announced Monday that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump’s administration
6:45PM ( 21 hours 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
5:05PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Business - Utilities
South Dakota House moves to impeach AG after fatal crash
South Dakota House lawmakers have begun impeachment proceedings against the state’s attorney general, who is facing misdemeanor charges for striking and killing a man with his car
3:36PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Tiger Woods suffers leg injuries after California car crash
Authorities and Tiger Woods' manager say the golf star has suffered leg injuries in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and is undergoing surgery
3:31PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Biden administration to send millions of masks
President Joe Biden says the administration expects to send millions of masks to people around the country “very shortly.”
3:22PM ( 23 minutes ago )
White House promises vaccine help as states rush to catch up
States are scrambling to catch up on coronavirus vaccinations after bad weather last week led to clinic closures and shipment backlogs
3:14PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Benzan leads No. 8 Maryland past Iowa 111-93
Senior Katie Benzan broke her school record with 10 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points to lead eighth-ranked Maryland to a 111-93 victory over Iowa on Tuesday
3:01PM ( 45 minutes ago )