Don't Miss Out

Subscribe to OCA's News & Alerts.

Deb Haaland, America’s First Native American Cabinet Minister: A Two-Year Assessment

Mark Sundeen writes in Outside Magazine:

“In February 2021, when President-elect Joe Biden nominated Deb Haaland to become the 54th secretary of the interior, the left and right staked out familiar turf. A one-term Democratic congresswoman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Haaland had become a darling to environmentalists. She supported the Green New Deal, called for a fracking ban on public lands, and tweeted out progressive red meat like “Republicans don’t believe in science.

“GOP legislators all but fainted on the rotunda floor but were revived with smelling salts long enough to foresee the end of the oil industry and what one of them called ‘our way of life.’ Fifteen House members urged Biden to withdraw the nomination, labeling it ‘a direct threat to working men and women.’ Senator Steve Daines of Montana, a member of the committee that would examine Haaland’s qualifications for the job, denounced her as ‘radical’ twice in the same press release…

“Why all the drama? As someone who has lived in and written about the American West for 30 years, I can tell you that the secretary of the interior, whose main role is overseeing the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), isn’t usually a memorable figure. The vast majority of Americans who aren’t mine owners or professional environmentalists would be hard-pressed to recall a single one of them by name. Dirk Kempthorne? Ryan Zinke? Sally Jewell? None were household figures like former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell.”

Read more: Deb Haaland’s Long Game for Victory