WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s nominee for interior secretary Rep. Deb Haaland is a Green New Deal co-sponsoring progressive who wants an immediate and outright ban on fracking in the United States.
If confirmed, Haaland would be responsible for managing all of the nation’s natural resources, including oil, gas and clean coal, and more than 500 million acres of federal and tribal lands.
She would also be in charge of making good on Biden’s promises to reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and create more renewable energy sources.
While Biden flip-flopped on fracking during the presidential campaign — claiming he would ban it before backing it to woo blue-collar voters in states like Pennsylvania — Haaland, 60, is unequivocal.
In interviews, the Native American lawmaker has repeatedly called for a ban on fracking and even signed on to the People’s Demands For Climate Justice, a petition which calls for an end to government subsidies for fossil fuels and an “immediate ban on fracking.”
The New Mexico congresswoman was also the co-sponsor of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal bill which was roundly rejected by the Senate in a 57-0 vote.
“I am wholeheartedly against fracking and drilling on public lands,” Haaland said in an interview with the Guardian in May 2019.
Earlier this year, Haaland told the Albuquerque Journal, “I support a ban on fracking,” and in a Nov. 2018 tweet, she declared: “I 100% support a Green New Deal.”
“As a Native American woman who’s ancestral homeland is under attack from the Fossil Fuel Industry: I 100% support a Green New Deal and a Congressional Climate Commission,” she wrote.
The congresswoman is a member of the Laguna Pueblo people, and if confirmed, would be the first Native American cabinet secretary.
Her appointment is expected to ease tensions with the nation’s 1.9 million Native Americans who live on tribal lands managed by the Department of Interior.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Haaland sought to pre-emptively downplay concerns about her stances and vowed to create new jobs through renewable energy.
“I come from New Mexico. It’s a big gas and oil state. And I care about every single job,” she said.
“We don’t want to go back to normal, right? We don’t want to go back to where we were because that economy wasn’t working for a lot of people,” she added.
A spokeswoman for Haaland did not immediately return a request for comment on Thursday.
Biden has made clear that he will mount an unparalleled climate change fight as president, appointing former secretary of state John Kerry to the newly created role of “climate envoy.”
Kerry and Ocasio-Cortez served as the heads of the Biden campaign’s climate change panel and in July, Biden unveiled his $2 trillion energy plan with a heavy focus on the Green New Deal agenda.
But Biden’s personal climate views remain murky and during his first debate with President Trump, insisted that he didn’t support the Green New Deal — even though his environmental plan on his website called it a “crucial framework” for fighting climate change.
“The Green New Deal is not my plan,” Biden claimed.
“I support the Biden plan that I put forward, which is different than what he calls the ‘radical Green New Deal,’” he went on, working himself in knots.