WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources voted to approve the nomination of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) as secretary of the Department of the Interior. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“As head of the Interior Department, Deb Haaland will set a new course for the agency and its all-important management of public lands, after four years of ransacking by the oil and gas industry cronies who ran the agency during the oil-soaked Trump administration. Haaland’s confirmation would be historic move, as she will be the first Native American to hold a cabinet post. This change is not only of symbolic importance, it means that tribes and local communities will finally have a voice at the table, rather than just energy and mining industries.
“Fossil fuel corporations are panicking because Haaland will carry out the mission of the agency and protect our federal lands instead of doing the bidding of dirty energy corporations. For far too long, the oil and gas industry and their political allies on Capitol Hill have done whatever they can to prop up a system that allows them to pillage our public lands at low costs and boost their profits.
“After four years of the Trump administration’s nonstop fossil fuel giveaways, the Biden administration will need to fix a broken system that allows oil companies to short-change taxpayers by leasing public lands and offshore waters for drilling at bargain rates.”