R&I – TxPat****
If confirmed to lead the Department of the Interior, the Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico would oversee more than 500 million acres of federal and tribal lands, accounting for about a fifth of the nation’s land surface, as well as offshore federal waters.
“It is President Biden’s agenda, not my own agenda that I would be moving forward,” she said at the contentious confirmation hearing that reflected deep divisions over some of Biden’s climate-focused executive orders. These include a pause on new oil and gas leasing on federal acreage, currently the source of around a quarter of U.S. production.
Republicans have been battling Biden’s sweeping plan to combat global warming and expand renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. But most Democrats on the panel applauded Biden’s focus on climate, a U-turn from former President Donald Trump’s policy. Trump emphasized oil, gas and coal production on federal lands over the fight against climate change.