HomeEnvironment & Climate NewsSenate Energy Committee Deadlocks on Biden Interior Nominee

Senate Energy Committee Deadlocks on Biden Interior Nominee

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee deadlocked on a vote to move the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis, President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior, forward.

All 10 Democratic members of the committee voted to move Daniel-Davis’ nomination forward. All ten Republicans on the committee opposed approving Daniel-Davis for the position.

The November 18, 2021 tie vote does not necessarily preclude the nomination going forward, but, because of Senate rules, it makes the nominee’s approval more difficult.

Nominee Blocks Land Use

Republican members of the committee cited Daniel-Davis’ leadership in guiding Biden administration policies limiting energy and natural resource development on federal lands as the reason for rejecting her.

Committee ranking member John Barrasso (R-WY) led the fight against the nomination, based on Daniel-Davis’ work in limiting domestic resource access.

“I strongly oppose the nomination of Ms. Daniel-Davis to serve as assistant secretary of Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior,” said Barasso in his opening statement during Daniel-Davis vetting hearing. “Under her supervision, Interior rescinded previously issued grazing permits and imposed an oil and gas leasing moratorium on federal lands.

“Under her direction, the Bureau of Land Management has undermined our nation’s energy and mineral security … [by] impos[ing] a moratorium on federal nickel and copper mining leases in Minnesota … locking up the largest undeveloped known nickel and copper deposit in the world,” Barrasso said. “One of the planned mining projects would produce enough minerals to build a quarter of a million electric vehicle batteries.”

Barrasso also noted that at the end of October Daniel-Davis pressured “local BLM offices to give up even more decision making authority to Washington.”

“Ms. Daniel-Davis’ decisions are a gift to OPEC, Russia, and China. I encourage all our committee members to vote against her nomination,” Barrasso said.

Unlawful Drilling Moratorium

During the hearings several Republican committee members mentioned Daniel-Davis’ role in the Biden administration’s recent oil and gas leasing moratorium.

This action was subsequently blocked by a federal court

The administration lacked the legal authority to halt leases of federal territory for oil and gas production without approval from Congress, ruled Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Because Daniel-Davis supported the administration’s moratorium, Republican committee members said it showed her willingness to pursue unlawful actions in support of a radical and reckless anti-fossil fuel agenda.

‘Monolitic Team of Marxists’

Daniel-Davis’ support for the Biden administration’s radical anti-resource development policy is dangerous but not surprising, says Jay Lehr, Ph.D., senior policy analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition.

“Laura Daniel-Davis is a perfect fit for the Biden administration as the assistant interior secretary for Land and Minerals Management,” said Lehr. “If appointed, she will make dozens of decisions to shut off federal lands to any activities beneficial to the public, which is a major goal for Biden and his puppet masters.

“I will be surprised if her opponents defeat her nomination as legislators have thus far allowed the cabinet to become a monolithic team of Marxists,” Lehr said.

Kevin Stone (kevin.s.stone@gmail.com) writes from Arlington, Texas

Kevin Stone
Kevin Stone writes from Dallas, Texas.

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