During Grilling by Manchin and GOP Senators, Interior Secretary Promises Offshore Leasing Plan Within Six Months
Don’t hold your breath, though. Sec. Haaland’s attention has been focused on race activism rather than solving America’s energy crisis.
It has been another spectacular week of incompetence and buffoonery by members of the Biden administration.
I would like you introduce you to Deb Haaland, the Secretary if the Interior. Haaland is a classic Biden appointment, selected for her minority status (Native American) and focus on progressive activism, in addition to her adherence to party over citizens.
The former New Mexico congresswoman was confirmed by the the Senate with a 51–40 vote. The four Republicans joining were Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Lindsey Graham.
Since that appointment, her attention seems to have been primarily focused on race activism. Here is a list of Haaland’s accomplishments in her current position:
In April 2021, Haaland announced a new unit within Bureau of Indian Affairs that plans to tackle the decades-long crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans, saying, “We are fully committed to assisting Tribal communities with these investigations, and the MMU will leverage every resource available to be a force-multiplier in preventing these cases from becoming cold case investigations”.
In May 2021, Haaland approved the new constitution of the Cherokee Nation with protections for Cherokee Freedmen.
In June 2021, Haaland announced the creation of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. The initiative’s goal is to investigate long-standing abuse in the now defunct residential boarding schools that housed Native American children under the 1819 Civilization Fund Act.
In November 2021, Haaland declared the word “squaw” to be derogatory and ordered a task force to determine new names for the 650 places in the country affected by the ruling.
The neglect of allowing Americans to actually utilize the resources in the nation’s interior has now gotten substantial attention, thanks to escalating gasoline prices. So, Haaland spent some time in front of a Senate hearing this week explaining administration priorities.
Sen. Joe Manchin and Republicans on the committee expressed concern that the Department of Interior appeared to be delaying holding more oil and gas lease sales just as gasoline prices are surging in the US.
“The President says he wants his administration to encourage more American energy,” said Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming. “Instead your department, Madam Secretary, stalls, postpones and kills oil and natural gas lease sales. Your department is undermining domestic energy production, not expediting it.”
Manchin was especially disturbed by her responses. He confronted the Secretary on the Interior Department’s memo highlighting the intention to kill oil and gas exploration.
WATCH: Sen. Manchin asks Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about memo cancelling oil drilling leases.
MANCHIN: “It looks like you all are going to shut everything down.”
HAALAND: “I am sorry. I am sitting in this hearing…”
MANCHIN: “My God.” pic.twitter.com/6KGJeoyAgG
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 19, 2022
“We are holding this hearing during trying times,” Manchin told Haaland, adding that his frustration had hit “an all-time high” as the U.S. seeks to increase oil production in Iran and Venezuela in an attempt to replace Russian energy “while we are at the same time blocking increased energy production at home.”
Manchin told Haaland that he backed the Interior Department’s decision last year to “pause” energy lease sales while the Biden administration conducted a review of the federal oil and gas program.
But he added: “Almost a year and a half into the administration, and as the world begs for North American oil and gas, we still have no leases. … I’m sorry to say it has become crystal-clear that the pause is in fact a ban.”
During the grilling, Haaland did promise a serious offshore leasing plan within six months. However, the announcement drew skepticism from the oil and gas industry.
“It’s an announcement that there will be another announcement,” said Erik Milito, president of the trade group National Offshore Industries Association. “Interior has had 16 months to fulfill its statutory obligation to develop and maintain an offshore oil and gas leasing program and it has failed.”
During the hearing, Halaand declined to say whether or not the Interior Department planned to include any lease sales in the five-year plan.
Don’t hold your breath. Clearly, Sec. Haaland’s attention has been focused on race activism rather than on solving America’s energy crisis. Her focus is not likely to change anytime soon, either.DONATE
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