Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who has encouraged President Joe Biden to reverse course on canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, announced on Wednesday that he will vote to confirm far-left Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) to head the Interior Department.
“Given the political divisions currently facing our country, I believe that every presidential nominee and every member of Congress must be committed to a new era of bipartisanship,” Manchin said in a statement. “That is the standard the overwhelming majority of Americans expect and deserve.”
Regarding his decision to vote to confirm Haaland, Manchin said, “While we do not agree on every issue, she reaffirmed her strong commitment to bipartisanship, addressing the diverse needs of our country and maintaining our nation’s energy independence.”
Manchin’s decision to vote to confirm Haaland came after far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) suggested this week that Manchin was racist and sexist for having “remaining questions” about whether he would vote to confirm her.
“Jeff Sessions was so openly racist that even Reagan couldn’t appoint him,” Ocasio-Cortez claimed. “Manchin voted to confirm him. Sessions then targeted immigrant children for wide-scale human rights abuses w/family separation. Yet the 1st Native woman to be Cabinet Sec is where Manchin finds unease?”
Jeff Sessions was so openly racist that even Reagan couldn’t appoint him.
Manchin voted to confirm him. Sessions then targeted immigrant children for wide-scale human rights abuses w/ family separation.
Yet the 1st Native woman to be Cabinet Sec is where Manchin finds unease? https://t.co/wyki5iE36Y
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 22, 2021
If confirmed, Haaland would “play a central role in advancing President Biden’s climate change agenda, as the head of an agency that oversees over 500 million acres of public lands, including national parks, oil and gas drilling sites, and endangered species habitat,” The New York Times reported. “And she would be charged with enacting one of Mr. Biden’s most contentious proposals: the banning of future leases to conduct hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas on public lands.”
The report added that Haaland has a history of “pushing to shut down fossil fuel drilling and pipelines” that goes even “further than those of Mr. Biden.”
Haaland has struggled throughout the confirmation process this week from not knowing whether pipelines or trucks and trains were the safest way to transport energy to not knowing if banning drilling would lead to an increase of oil imports from other nations. She also had no idea if nations like Venezuela have better environmental standards than the U.S. with respect to drilling. Haaland also did not rule out blocking the use of pipelines that already exist and are currently in use in the U.S. that are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Haaland “supported the Green New Deal,” an extreme far-left agenda championed by Ocasio-Cortez that some estimates have said could cost up to $93 trillion over 10 years — while the U.S. already is $28 trillion in debt — which would break down to $650,000+ per household over that time period, assuming that the $93 is correct.
This article has been updated to include additional information.