By SUZANNE DOWNING / MUST READ AMERICA
Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico is suffering through an inevitably contentious and protracted confirmation process for Secretary of the Interior. Her confirmation vote in the Senate Energy Committee comes Thursday, March 4. A floor vote has not been scheduled.
Some Republicans aren’t giving her a pass, fearing her far-left leaning proclivities, although Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has played it safe, asking Haaland only softball questions. Sen. John Barasso has been more pointed, asking how Haaland can justify policies that will kill over one million jobs. The answers are not forthcoming, because the directives are far beyond Haaland’s pay grade.
If confirmed, Haaland will be the most radical Interior Secretary to lead the agency since its creation on March 3, 1849.
She would also be the first Native American, and Democrats universally praise her for that birthright. Democrats like firsts, as they are dedicated to dividing people into marginalized groups that they can then defend.
Western states are scared, for good reason. Haaland is a climate change warrior and a foe of oil drilling and fracking. Although she has a short track record in Congress, she has expressed no interest in American energy innovation or independence.
Western states depend on oil and gas for their economies. Under the Trump Administration, oil and gas jobs supported 10.9 million American jobs — from oil fields to hotel rooms and restaurants — according to American Petroleum Institute figures from 2019.
The petroleum energy sector represents more than 7 percent of the overall US economy. The average salary of those working in oil and gas is $108,000, nearly double the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020.
Jobs in the clean energy sector, if you can find them, don’t pay anywhere near that.
But Haaland has taken the oppositional stance. She stood with a small group of Gwich’in to protest the opening of the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, even though most Alaska Native groups support it.
Alaskans, Texans, and Oklahomans are on edge about Haaland leading the agency that can make or break Western State economies. The land that the Department of Interior controls is almost exclusively in the west.
Questions coming at Haaland in the Senate Energy Committee have naturally explored the regions of her extremism, and just how many jobs she would cost America if she becomes the head of the department.
But ultimately, her appointment matters little. The White House is in charge here. Haaland is a mere figurehead for an agency that has already been taken over by the extreme left. The top person at the agency could be a breadbox, because the real work is coming from the White House, with special assistant appointments embedded throughout the various divisions.
And those appointments, should a person look closely, are deeply concerning: Earthjustice lawyers, Democratic Party operatives, and radical Native American groups have been planted up and down the chain. The takeover of the department has already occurred. Haaland is just the window dressing. Here’s who’s really running the show:
Chelsey Cartwright, deputy White House liaison at the DOI, served as Northeast Regional Political Director on the Biden-Harris campaign.
Maria Castro, Special Assistant, National Park Service was most recently a field organizer with both of the Democratic Party of Georgia and the North Carolina Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaigns.
Alexx Diera, special assistant, Bureau of Land Management, served as the Women’s Vote Director and a Regional Organizing Director on the Biden-Harris Coordinated Campaign in North Carolina.
Mili Gosar, Deputy Chief of Staff – Operations, was the Regional Voter Protection Director for the Midwest on the Biden-Harris campaign.
Caroline Welles, Special Assistant for Fish and Wildlife Services, worked as the National Surrogates Director at the Democratic National Committee, working to create and implement the National Surrogate Strategy for the 2020 General Election.
Natalie Landreth, deputy solicitor, came from the Native American Rights Fund.
Daniel Cordalis, formerly of EarthJustice and Native American Rights Fund, is now deputy solicitor of Water.
These are only a few examples just how deeply political the Department of Interior is under Biden, and how little Haaland matters.
When the Senate Energy votes to advance Haaland’s name — and the members will — it’s icing on the cake for the radical extremists. But if for some reason the committee says she’s too radical, then the Biden Administration will simply find another symbolic figurehead to execute its planned dismantling of the American economy, one oil drilling rig at a time.