Haaland Focused on Economic Opportunities of Climate Action, Rejecting Big Oil-Backed Republican Allies’ Lies

Washington, D.C. — Today, during Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing, oil and gas-backed Republicans worked overtime to wage false attacks against the Department of Interior nominee –  showing their blatant opposition to any progress toward a clean energy economy that will create good-paying union jobs.

Sens. Steve Daines, John Barrasso, and other oil and gas allies wrongly claimed that the Biden administration’s focus on transitioning toward a clean energy economy would hamper job growth  – ignoring the data that found investing in clean energy will create millions of good-paying, union jobs throughout the U.S., including in rural areas.

“As the consequences of the climate crisis grow ever more dire, Deb Haaland’s commitment to building a clean energy future will be an invaluable addition to President Biden’s Climate Cabinet. But instead of focusing on the solutions, Haaland has put forward to combat the crisis, the Republican Senators questioning her today focused on false science and debunked data in an attempt to undermine all climate progress,” said Lori Lodes, Climate Power’s executive director. “The hypocrisy of claiming to be the party of science when the GOP cannot even admit the science of climate change shows just how skewed their motivations are toward the profits of oil and gas instead of the people they were elected to serve.”

But these climate-denying Senators are completely unable to put forward good-faith arguments on the climate crisis — instead, today’s questions show a last-ditch effort by the oil and gas lobby, and those who benefit from their campaign donations, to stop any progress on climate action.

Haaland’s record of fighting for Sovereign Rights and the rights of Indian Country speaks volumes on her qualifications to lead the Interior Department. She is a fierce protector of public lands with a deep understanding of environmental justice and the issues facing Western communities. She’s pledged to put the peoples’ right to clean air, water, and public lands ahead of corporate profits and to champion the needs of the West and Indian Country.

“Deb Haaland is a bold leader and fierce climate justice champion who is exceptionally qualified to lead the Department of the Interior. Haaland’s respect for our natural resources and cultural heritage, dedication to the people and history of New Mexico, and giving a voice to Native American and frontline communities is the type of leadership we need,” said Lodes.

At Interior, Haaland’s leadership will mark a significant shift from the pro-polluting interests that reigned during the Trump era. She will advance a climate and economic agenda that will create millions of good-paying union jobs, uphold Tribal Sovereignty, and put the peoples’ right to clean air and water before the profits of oil and gas companies.

Follow the money and it’s clear that the Republicans attacking Haaland are parroting their oil and gas donors’ lies. 

  • The oil and gas industry has given millions of dollars to many of the Republican politicians who now serve as their messengers spreading anti-climate talking points, including a group of 15 GOP Representatives who led a failed attempt to pressure Biden to withdraw Haaland’s nomination.
  • Senator Daines, one of the loudest voices hammering Haaland with Big Oil’s false attacks, received $1,158,847 from oil and gas throughout his career, including $583,320 in just the 2020 cycle. Daines also has a record of attacking women of color.
  • While Big Oil pretends to care about Black and Brown lives, they make their money at the expense of these communities and give tons of money to politicians who will ignore their environmental racism while attacking the first Indigenous Cabinet nominee. A 2020 report by Global Witness found that Chevron quadrupled political funding to candidates with failing civil rights grades.

Haaland, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, is a historic nominee with exceptional qualifications to lead Interior. 

  • In Congress, Haaland has been one of the strongest voices standing up to Big Oil and revealing the egregious practices in the industry.Haaland investigated the social impacts of the oil and gas industry onNew Mexico, including missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and the sexual exploitation of Indigenous women and girls.
  • Haaland knows how the West lives. Throughout her career, Haaland has spent time with families in rural, agricultural, and ranching communities – including her own. Her sister and family are cattle ranchers, and she has participated in their work. She understands the business and the challenges facing real people.
    • Haaland’s deep relationships with Tribes, stakeholders, outdoor recreation groups, hunters, anglers, and conservation groups working on policy issues within the jurisdiction of the Interior, including the maintenance backlog, the outdoor recreation economy, and Tribal consultation is an undeniable asset for the agency.
  • Haaland has been a leading advocate to limit gas and drilling on public lands.  In 2017, when Trump opened up the Bears Ears monument -home to thousands of Indigenous ancestral sites- to oil and gas energy exploration, Haaland led the fight and gave a voice to the most affected by the issue.
  • Haaland was a leading voice fighting for public lands. As Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, Haaland worked with her colleagues to shepherd the Great American Outdoors Act, which provided guaranteed full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, to the House floor for a successful bipartisan vote.
  • Haaland has strong relationships with Republicans and a record of success working across the aisle. She worked with Senators on both sides of the aisle to deliver COVID-19 funding for Tribes. Build meaningful relationships with Republican House and Senate members to seek common ground on outdoor recreation, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and military housing protections.