By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis on Thursday urged her colleagues to vote against the nomination of Secretary of Interior Nominee Deb Haaland.
In a passionate speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Lummis said she agreed that it was “high time” for a Native American woman to lead the Department of Interior, but this wasn’t the right person for the job.
Lummis said Congresswoman Haaland wouldn’t stand up to President Biden and instead would “blindly enact the Biden agenda without consideration for the extraordinary impacts it will continue to have on energy states like Wyoming.”
These impacts have alarmed lawmakers all across the West — specifically the far-reaching implications of an executive order President Biden signed which bans all new oil and gas development on federal lands
Lummis cited a University of Wyoming study which found that Wyoming could lose $13 billion in tax revenue as a result of this executive order.
“Banning permitting on federal lands in Wyoming means banning access to 68% of Wyoming’s minerals,” she said.
“For our state and our country to remain energy independent, we need someone at the Department of Interior who recognizes that if we shut down producers at home, we are only increasing the power of polluters like Russia and China,” she said.
In contrast, Lummis said, the U.S. has had the largest absolute decline emissions of any country while becoming the world’s top energy producer.
She said this is proof that you can be environmentally and energy-friendly.
What’s not friendly, she said, is the Green New Deal — something Haaland co-sponsored.
Further, in 2019, Haaland told The Guardian that she was “wholeheartedly against fracking and drilling on public lands.”
Biden, on the other hand, has flip-flopped — repeatedly — on the issue of fracking.
“Congresswoman Haaland is more radical in her positions than President Biden,” Lummis said. “What we need is a secretary who understands the issues that Westerners face.”
“We need someone who knows the ways that states like Wyoming are contributing to America’s energy independence and doing so in increasingly environmentally friendly ways,” she said.