CEI Opposes Haaland Confirmation Based on House Record Hostile to Property Rights and Resource Development on Federal Lands

WASHINGTON, DC – President Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of the Interior Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) answered questions before a Senate committee ahead of a confirmation vote. Haaland answered questions about her views on the use of fossil fuels, the use of federal lands for resource development and other important issues.

Despite claiming during her hearing “there’s no question that fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in America for years to come” and asserting she understands “how important oil and gas revenues are to critical services”, her support as a House Member for the Green New Deal and her role as principal sponsor of the Thirty by Thirty resolution undermine those claims.

CEI President and CEO Kent Lassman said:

“A vital American contribution to environmental stewardship is the distinction and balance between preservation and conservation.  Strong private property rights secured by our legal system are a foundation for a resilient and growing economy as well as fundamental to conserving natural resources for the benefit of all Americans, now and in the future.

“Representative Deb Haaland’s (D-NM) past statements and record as a legislator show her policy positions would undermine environmental conservation while also lowering the standard of living for all Americans, including the most vulnerable. Senators should oppose her confirmation.”

Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell said:

“Representative Deb Haaland’s (D-NM) record reveals her as far too extreme to be able to serve adequately as Secretary of the Interior.  Despite her comments during her confirmation hearing promising she would listen to and work with people with different views, her record in the House is clear. 

“Rep. Haaland has supported ending all oil and gas production and most other types of natural resource production on federal lands.  Her record is hostile to private property, which is the cornerstone of environmental stewardship. She voted for massive new spending on federal land acquisition and is the chief sponsor of the Thirty by Thirty resolution – a plan to remove 30 percent of U.S. lands and oceans from productive use by the year 2030 – which poses a greater threat to private property owners and land stewardship than even the long-abused Endangered Species Act. Rep. Haaland is also a sponsor of the Green New Deal, which would have devastating consequences for the most vulnerable and for rural populations with no practical effect on the global climate.

“Putting Rep. Haaland into a position to implement these extreme and ill-considered policies would impoverish hundreds of thousands of Americans in rural communities in the west, bankrupt counties and even states, and threaten environmental conservation inspired by private property rights.    

“Rep. Haaland might be an acceptable choice if the position were Secretary of Wilderness, but we strongly urge Senators to vote against her confirmation as Secretary of the Interior.”

CEI distinguished fellow R. J. Smith said:

“Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) has rather quickly developed a long list of extreme positions on conservation, land use, and private property.

“An examination of Rep. Haaland’s record shows that she is personally opposed to all leasing, exploration, development, and transportation of fossil fuels across Federal lands. She has supported returning to the policy of treating all threatened species the same as endangered species, contrary to the intent of the Endangered Species Act. This would undo much careful work accomplished by the Interior Department under President Trump to end such overreach and the huge burden it placed on America’s landowners, ranchers, farmers, and foresters. 

“This is a prescription for total disaster – a ‘progressive’ returning America to the conditions of the early 1900s. The result would be far less energy, fewer natural resources, food, or productive use of land.  These short-sighted policies would affect people not just in the West, but all Americans in every state.”