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Republicans blast Biden’s Interior appointment who blocked oil and gas leasing

Support for Laura Daniel-Davis' nomination to a lower position began to fall when a memo surfaced indicating that Daniel-Davis backed curtailment of oil and gas leases in support of Biden's climate goals.

Published: November 1, 2023 8:24pm

The Department of the Interior announced Tuesday that President Joe Biden appointed a Department of Interior official to the No. 2 spot in the department, after her nomination to get Senate confirmation to a lower position fizzled due to her positions on climate change.

The decision didn’t sit well with Senate Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

“This appointment is yet another example of this Administration disregarding Congress and elevating nominees when they are unable to get the bipartisan support needed for confirmation,” Manchin said in a statement.

Laura Daniel-Davis, who was the principal deputy assistant secretary in the Land and Minerals Management Division, will sit just below Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

Biden first nominated Daniel-Davis in June 2021 to lead the Land and Minerals Division.

Support for her nomination began to fall when a memo surfaced indicating that Daniel-Davis backed curtailment of oil and gas leases in Alaska as part of Biden’s climate goals, according to E&E News.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Manchin chairs, held two confirmation hearings, where the committee Republicans questioned Daniel-Davis about her views on energy issues and climate change. Daniel-Davis’ nomination failed both votes for her nomination to go to the floor.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., ranking member of the committee, said that in her current position, Daniel-Davis has done everything in her power to undermine the U.S. nation’s energy and mineral security, which has resulted in higher energy costs.

“She has continually blocked access to important minerals and restricted oil and gas leasing on federal lands. She is totally opposed to unleashing American energy,” Barrasso said in a statement, adding that her promotion “only shows the Biden administration’s blind devotion to a radical, anti-American energy agenda.”

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