Haaland, a progressive Democrat elected to Congress in 2018, has been among President Joe Biden’s most controversial elections because of her support for the Green New Deal and her opposition to fossil fuel projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Collin’s statement comes after Senator Joe Manchin, the West Virginia moderate Democrat who chairs the Energy Committee, said he would vote to confirm Haaland. Manchin also posted responses to questions for the record showing lawmakers seeking Haaland’s opinion on a variety of parish issues, as well as questions about statements he made on Twitter criticizing the Trump administration’s energy policy and promoting clean energy. .
Murkowski peppered Haaland with several dozen questions on topics ranging from Alaska Native issues to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and critical minerals. Haaland drew on his personal relationship with the Alaska Republican with key roles on three panels: Energy, Indian Affairs and Appropriations, with direct lines to the Interior.
“While we will not always agree with the administration’s policy, I want to be clear and open with you,” Haaland wrote. “I respect his reputation as a thoughtful and civilized person who has a wealth of experience working productively with administrations on both sides, and I will try to do the same as I have during my time in Congress.
But Murkowski in his questions criticized Haaland’s comments about Tara Sweeney, an Interior official in the Trump administration who faced ethics allegations about how she handled tribal funds related to Covid-19. Murkowski said she was “really shocked” by Haaland’s positions on the matter, prompting the nominee to state that she “has no hostility towards Ms. Sweeney and I respect her public service.”
Republican senators asked Haaland to explain his intention to carry out the Biden administration’s “30 by 30” policy, a plan Haaland had signed during his time in Congress that would place 30 percent of American land under protection by 2030.
Haaland responded that the plan would include “state and local efforts, tribal lands, voluntary private conservation and working lands cared for by generations of farmers and ranchers.” She added that “[p]Participation in the effort by all non-federal governments, tribal nations, and other groups will be voluntary … We will actively communicate with and encourage private state, local, tribal, and voluntary conservation efforts. “
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), a high-ranking member of the panel, took particular aim at Haaland in his written questions, pointing to an old tweet in which he said low energy prices made it “easy to lose the picture. general”. climate change, and asked if she thought fossil fuel prices were “too low” to help the Biden administration’s goal of developing renewable fuel production.
Haaland responded, in part, “I support affordable energy prices for all Americans and understand that prices fluctuate and can hurt consumers.”
The answers did not sway Barrasso, who along with fellow Republican Senators Steve Daines (Montana), who submitted 86 questions on topics ranging from Montana tribal issues, his views on coal-fired power plant closures, and Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming), have called Haaland a “radical” who would crush the fossil fuel industry.
“As he was after the actual hearing, Rank Member Barrasso is deeply dissatisfied with the lack of substance in Representative Haaland’s responses to questions for the record,” said spokesman Mike Danylak. “Several questions from committee members included multiple parts and their responses did not address them.”
Other Republican senators who voted on his nomination were less confrontational. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho asked Haaland about his support for the expansion of electric transmission grids, a policy issue that Haaland supported during his time in the House. He also asked if he supported the promotion of mining on public lands, which experts say will be necessary to supply the fast-growing markets for battery technology and electrification.
“If confirmed, I will listen to all stakeholders to ensure that we are harnessing the minerals we need while protecting public health and important natural and cultural resources,” Haaland responded in writing. “I will seek to take a balanced approach to overseeing mining on our public lands and waters.”
A Risch aide declined to say how he would vote on Haaland’s nomination.