Fri Mar 12th, 2021
As a member of the Laguna Pueblo people, Deb Haaland would be the first Indigenous person to serve in the Cabinet. Honoring Tribal sovereignty and advancing climate proposals that justly work in partnership with Tribal governments must be a critical focus for the next Interior secretary after a history of the U.S. government ignoring Indigenous communities’ rights to clean air, water, and sacred lands.
Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power, issued the following statement ahead of the second day of Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing to head the Department of the Interior, “Haaland demonstrated precisely why she will make an excellent Secretary of the Interior. Her passion for our nation’s natural and cultural resources was palpable as she spoke about her commitment to workers, families, farmers, ranchers, and communities across the country, including Tribal communities and communities of color. Haaland understands that bold climate action is good for the economy and good for workers, creating millions of good-paying union jobs while protecting our air, lands, and water. Today, as Haaland’s hearing resumes, we can expect her to continue welcoming bipartisan cooperation to address the climate crisis and build a clean energy economy.”
Haaland’s historic nomination has broad support, including from nearly 500 groups representing Indigenous, environmental justice, Western communities, and outdoor businesses. These groups note that Haaland is “a proven leader and the right person to lead the charge against the existential threats of our time – tackling the climate, extinction and COVID-19 crises and racial justice inequities on our Federal public lands.”
At Interior, Haaland will play a vital role in the fight against COVID-19 and protecting public health by restoring public lands and transitioning to a clean energy economy that will reduce the pollution that exacerbated COVID symptoms, especially for communities of color.
In Congress, Haaland serves as the vice-chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and she led a coalition of Members of Congress to introduce an aggressive land and ocean conservation strategy. Haaland also introduced a bill to expand access to public lands and legislation to build a 100% clean energy future. Along with Sen. Cory Booker, Haaland also introduced a $100 billion plan to clean up legacy pollution that disproportionately impacts Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.