Historic Confirmation of Haaland Makes Climate Action a Top Priority at Interior

Statement of EDF President Fred Krupp – March 15, 2021

March 15, 2021
Keith Gaby, (202) 572-3336, kgaby@edf.org

Today, with a bipartisan vote, the United States Senate confirmed Representative Deb Haaland to lead the Department of the Interior.

“The Senate’s confirmation of Deb Haaland carries enormous meaning for this country. As the first Native American Cabinet Secretary, Secretary Haaland leads the agency responsible for stewarding public lands, protecting fish and wildlife, and fulfilling the nation’s trust responsibility to sovereign tribes. A Native American Interior Secretary is long overdue, and Deb Haaland is extraordinarily well-suited for the role.

“Her selection also reflects the Biden administration’s strong commitment to taking bold action to address the climate crisis. As a Member of Congress, Rep. Haaland was a leading advocate for the health of her constituents in New Mexico, including supporting rules to cut methane waste and pollution from oil and gas production facilities and policies that advance environmental justice. Under her stewardship, the Department of the Interior will have an important role in tackling methane emissions on public and tribal lands and ensuring our nation’s resources serve the public.

“Secretary Haaland will also have an important opportunity to address water challenges in the arid West and support rural economies in ways that also strengthen ecosystem resilience.

“As environmental advocates — and as people who acknowledge the United States’ painful legacy of exploiting its Indigenous peoples and their lands — we are grateful to have a leader like Deb Haaland in a position to build a better future for all of us. We look forward to working with Secretary Haaland as she takes on the critically important challenges we face.”

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