Former Alaskan Tommy Beaudreau is President Joe Biden’s choice to become deputy Interior secretary, according to sources. Beaudreau was the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, could be nominated as early as tomorrow, and is a close political friend of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was said to be instrumental in the choice.
Beaudreau, born in Colorado, was raised in Alaska, where his father worked on the Trans Alaska Pipeline.
He will take the place of the former nominee Elizabeth Klein, whose confirmation was put on ice by Murkowski, when she told the Biden Administration that Klein was a known litigant, hostile to the oil and gas economy in Alaska.
Beaudreau also has a history of litigation against the oil industry and was working to challenge several of President Trump’s regulatory rollbacks, including the Trump Administration’s opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain to oil and gas development.
“Murkowski had been openly promoting the Alaska-raised Beaudreau to the White House, a preference the Biden administration began to take increasingly seriously during Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s contentious confirmation hearings,” according to E&E News.
Beaudreau is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins, where he works on environmental and land issues.
In the Department of Interior he also served as acting assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management, and most recently as chief of staff. At BOEM, he oversaw the offshore wind program, federal offshore leasing for oil and gas.
Under the Trump Administration, President Trump scaled back offshore leasing for renewable energy, because it was leading to significant bird kills.