As Joe Biden’s administration takes shape and the list of possible cabinet members grows, pressure is mounting for him to select a progressive environmentalist to serve as the new Secretary of the Interior. This comes after Food and Water Action, a progressive environmental organization, came out in opposition to Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), one of the top contenders for the post. Mitch Jones from Food and Water Action believes that Udall is too willing to compromise on issues related to fossil fuel development.
Instead, they are pushing for Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM) who has been endorsed by 150 tribal leaders as well as organizations like 350.org. Haaland has also garnered attention from her Native American roots which allows her to speak from a different perspective than many other politicians when it comes to discussing climate change. She has been lauded for being a staunch advocate for protecting public lands and promoting renewable energy sources as a way of transitioning away from fossil fuels by 2030, something that was part of Biden’s campaign promise.
Additionally, there are also concerns over how much revenue fossil fuels can bring into government coffers if they are taken into consideration while devising more sustainable energy policies. Some worry that pursuing this route could ultimately make those same governments dependent on them when it should be and vice versa; renewable energy resources should be given preference over nonrenewable ones whenever possible.
Despite many senators praising Udall for his cordiality and ability to compromise, there is still growing pressure on President Biden to pick someone who is unafraid of taking bold action when it comes to environmentalism and public lands protection: Deb Haaland is a prime example of this type change maker and what she could bring to the role if appointed. As our nation continues its march towards a greener future fueled by renewable energy sources, having someone like Deb Haaland in office would be an excellent addition to helping us achieve these goals both now and in the long run.