Historic doesn’t mean Haaland is qualified for DOI

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By RICK WHITBECK

I’ve read a number of news articles, letters to the editor and social media posts these past few weeks about how Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) would make an outstanding Secretary of the Interior for the Biden administration.

Each of the writers have focused on Haaland’s Native American heritage, as she’s a member of the Laguna Pueblo, and how her nomination was “historic.”  I agree her heritage is something to be very proud of, but the historic nature of Haaland’s native heritage aside, confirming her would be disastrous for Alaska.

My organization, Power The Future, recently put together an overview of Haaland’s radical environmentalism; extreme views that will shape her policies and politics if she is ultimately confirmed as Interior Secretary.  

Just a few examples of her beliefs should terrify Alaskans who care about our state’s role in energy development and who believe – as the majority of us do – in a robust, reliable and continued balance between environmental stewardship and responsible resource development.  

Haaland has been a supporter and co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, a radical climate agenda that would cost Alaskan households more than $87,500 in the first year and more than $51,000 every year after that. 

Haaland signed onto the People’s Demands for Climate Justice, which called for full divestment from fossil fuels by 2020 and an immediate ban on fracking. Haaland has said that it was time to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure in America. 

In 2019, Haaland egregiously implied that the oil and gas industry was responsible for murdered and missing indigenous women in New Mexico, a vulgar and offensive accusation she claimed was an issue of “environmental injustice.” 

During her confirmation hearings, Haaland either refused – or was incapable of – providing answers to basic questionsabout how her out-of-mainstream beliefs would mesh with her role as Interior Secretary.  

Putting someone as radical and seemingly ignorant of Interior Department basics in charge of an agency that owns and manages over 61% of Alaska’s lands, including much of our yet-untapped resource potential, is a recipe for disaster for our economy in the short- and long-terms.

We must trust Alaska’s Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan to focus on what is best for the people of Alaska, and not feel like “making history” is what’s important.  They hopefully will see Haaland is the wrong person for Alaska in this role. 

Alaska’s bright energy future may hang in the balance.

11 COMMENTS

  1. All good points, but ultimately Sullivan will vote against her because he depends on his base for re-election, but Murkowski will vote for her, because Murkowski has always been a closet (or more recently, not-so-closet) liberal.

  2. In the event Haaland is confirmed it may be time for Alaska to consider withdrawing from the United States and becoming a sovereign nation.
    I suggest a commission be established to evaluate the pros and cons of the process.

    • The Alaska legislature did exactly that back in the late seventies. They considered reverting to territorial status, independence, commonwealth status (like Puerto Rico) and maintaining the status quo. Pretty obvious which one they selected. Personally, I don’t believe that we have a large enough talent pool for independence, otherwise I would support it.

    • Sure. Russia and China will certainly support your idea. Just how do you propose we defend Alaska after succession from the U.S.?

      Better decide what language and culture you want to adopt, because Russia and China will likely invade to control Alaska for its resources.

  3. Historic? Do they just chose to forget Vice President Charlie Curtis of the Kaw Nation? Oh, he was a republican so that doesn’t count.

  4. The boat has sailed on expecting Lisa murkowski to do what’s best for Alaska. She is working for herself and her retirement, nothing more.

  5. IMO Murkowski has become an economic threat to all Alaskans, and especially to Natives. Her support of Haaland is like a “back-pack nuke” to Alaska’s economy. Everyone’s oxen will be gored.
    Ever since Biden was deemed the next president, America’s, and Alaska’s especially, economies have began a down-hill slide … a race to the bottom. Covid was just the poster boy.
    Meanwhile, China’s economy is recovering, getting stronger by the day. Their navy and air force is now strong enough to take Taiwan … three aircraft carriers and another on the ways … and America can’t do anything about it, short of a full fledged nuclear war.
    They have more ships, more aircraft, a bigger army, as good as our weapons and command /control systems. Their only limitation is that all this must be within their land based support. They can’t project very far outside of Asia.
    MacArthur was right. We should have gone into China when we had the chance. Worst is that had our government in those days had a crystal ball, and could see into today, they most likely would still have made the self-serving and cowardly choice.
    That’s Alaska’s dilemma today … our leaders making the self-serving and cowardly choices. “None fearful will enter the kingdom of heaven.”

  6. Maybe Lisa M voted Haaland out of committee because Haaland is 1/2 Norwegian! Maybe Lisa M is protecting the Norwegian oil fields so she can retire to Norway.

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