Wyoming, Montana Senators Oppose Biden Nominee Haaland for Interior Secrtary

Sen. John Barrasso said President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior has espoused anti-fossil fuel views and he and another Senator will oppose her confirmation unless they receive favorable answers to their questions.

Barrasso said Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M, espouses “radical views” contrary to responsible energy development, he told E&E News in a prepared statement on Monday.

“Her vocal opposition to oil and gas production on federal lands will only encourage President Biden along the illegal and reckless path that he has begun,” Barrasso said.

“Representative Haaland must demonstrate that she will follow the law, protect the multiple uses of our public lands, and reject policies that will force energy workers into the unemployment line,” he said. “I won’t support her nomination otherwise.”

Barrasso is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee, E&E News reported. Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., is the chairman, and he, too, has criticized Biden’s energy-related decisions including the president’s revocation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Senate Energy and National Resources Committee member U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., also has announced he will oppose Haaland’s nomination unless he receives similar assurances requested by Barrasso.

In a prepared statement, Daines said he met with Haaland last week and was dismayed with her “support of several radical issues that will hurt Montana” and the Keystone XL decision and the Green New Deal.

“I am also concerned by the responses I received about the role of the Department and lack of appreciation for issues that impact Montana such as wildlife management and hunting and sportsman access,” Daines said. “I’m not convinced the Congresswoman can divorce her radical views and represent what’s best for Montana and all stakeholders in the West. Unless my concerns are addressed, I will block her confirmation.”

The Senate has yet to schedule a confirmation hearing for Haaland, E&E News reported.