US President-elect Joe Biden elected the Democratic congressman on Thursday Deb Haaland, a congressman from New Mexico, to serve as the first Native American Secretary of the Interior, in a historic election for a department overseeing the country’s vast natural resources.
If ratified by the Senate, Haaland, In her 60s, she would become the first descendant of a North American people to lead the Department of the Interior.
The designation marks a turning point for a 171-year-old institution marked by a tense relationship with the 574 federally recognized indigenous tribes.
Member of the House of Representatives from one of the major oil and gas producing states, Haaland is committed to transforming the department from a champion in fossil fuel development to an advocate for renewable energy and policies to mitigate climate change.
The Home Office, which controls about one-fifth of the land in the United States, plays one critical role in fulfilling Biden’s promise to fight climate change. The former vice president has pledged to stop all new oil and gas drilling on public land and waters, a daunting task he faces. legal and political obstacles. Oil, gas and coal extraction in these areas accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s annual CO2 emissions.
‘I’m from New Mexico. It’s a great oil and gas state. And I worry about every job “Haaland said in a recent interview with The Washington Post in which he added, “We don’t want to go back to normal, do we? We don’t want to go back to where we were because that economy didn’t work for many people. “
Interior too oversees expansive protected areas, including more than 109 million acres (44.1 million hectares) of wilderness areas and 422 national parks, like national monuments and nature reserves. It also protects more than 1,000 endangered species and manages massive water projects in the West that help conserve farmland and provide clean water to major cities, including Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Haaland had just been reelected for a second term from a northern central New Mexico district leaning towards the Democratic Party. If the Senate confirms it, his party will have a very narrow margin from the Republicans in the House until the vacancy is filled. Currently, Democrats have 222 seats, pending a rematch in a race in New York and challenges in Iowa, and Biden has already hired two other House Democrats to serve in his administration, Representatives Cedric L. Richmond and Marcia L. Fudge .
Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Steny H. Hoyer has expressed concern that Biden will be electing another member of the House, telling reporters last week, “Two is too many, but three would be even more.”
But Pelosi made it clear on Wednesday that she would not stand in the way of Haaland’s departure from the House of Representatives.calling her “one of the most respected and one of the best members of Congress with which I have ever worked.”
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