Native American nominee's grilling raises questions on bias
The label of Haaland as a "radical" by Republican lawmakers is getting pushback from Native Americans. The exchange, coupled with descriptions of the Interior secretary nominee as “radical” — by other white, male Republicans — left some feeling Haaland is being treated differently because she is a Native American woman. “As much as I would love to see a Native American be on the president’s Cabinet, I have concerns about her record. Critics also have targeted Vanita Gupta, an Indian American and Biden’s pick to be associate attorney general, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as Health and Human Services secretary. That was seen in Haaland's response when asked about her motivation to be Interior secretary.
Biden gives boost to retiring senator's climate change plan
Udall is retiring from the Senate, but has emerged as a leading contender to be Interior secretary under President-elect Joe Biden. He has urged a shift in land and ocean management away from world-beating oil and gas production to tackling climate change and preserving wilderness. Oil and gas produced from public lands accounts for as much as one-fourth of U.S. carbon emissions. Udall says the Biden plan would make public lands “carbon neutral” by 2030, meaning the lands would absorb as much carbon dioxide as they emit from energy production. As the effects of climate change continue to worsen, “Congress will increasingly feel pressure from the public to get things done,'' Udall said.