The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jayson O’Neill (406) 200-8582

Biden's New Interior Department Nominee Poised to Clean Up Trump Administration's Toxic Legacy

Congresswoman Haaland Set to Unravel Special Interests’ Tentacles from America’s Public Lands; Focus on Addressing Climate Change and Clean Energy Jobs


U.S. Representative Deb Haaland has been nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to be the 54th secretary of the Interior. New Mexico Congresswoman Haaland is an historic pick who is extremely qualified to lead the Interior Department with a diverse coalition of support backing her nomination. She would be the first Native American to lead the Interior Department and to serve in a presidential Cabinet if confirmed by the Senate.

"President-elect Biden has committed to putting the public back into our public lands, addressing climate change, and restarting our economy by investing in clean energy in order to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Congresswoman Deb Haaland has the experience to make sure our public lands are part of the solution and knowledge to unravel the special interests' tentacles controlling the department.
Selecting the first Native American to lead the Interior Department is an historic moment for this country that will make for a more inclusive agency. After four long years of lobbyists and industry running roughshod over our public lands, Americans deserve a dedicated public servant like Haaland who will listen to all voices," said Western Values Project director Jayson O'Neill.
The congresswoman from New Mexico has been one of the strongest voices on the House Natural Resource Committee and is leading congressional efforts to accomplish the goals set forth in the thirty-by-thirty public lands and climate resolution. She is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, co-chairs the Native American Caucus, and has represented New Mexico's 1st congressional district since 2019.
The momentum behind Rep. Haaland's nomination after she became a top contender for the cabinet post has grown into a broad coalition of support. Haaland would bring a fresh new perspective and voice to a department that has been plagued by scandal and corruption under former mega-lobbyist turned-secretary David Bernhardt and ousted former secretary Ryan Zinke.
The incoming Biden administration has made addressing climate change one of its top priorities, including robust public lands conservation efforts and a focus on responsible clean energy development that is projected to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

While fighting to implement the Biden administration's plan, there will be lots of work to undo Trump's toxic, anti-public lands legacy. Accountable.US launched Damage Control to track key policies that the next administration must urgently seek to overturn after the Trump administration has enacted corrupt and harmful policies across environmental, immigration, economic, and many other issues for special interests -- many with close ties to the Trump administration -- that will negatively impact generations of Americans.

Western Values Project brings accountability to the national conversation about Western public lands and national parks conservation - a space too often dominated by industry lobbyists and their allies in government.