On Friday, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of W.Va. announced that he would not be advancing Biden’s Department of Interior (DOI) nominee. Sen. Manchin, who is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced he would block Laura Daniel-Davis from moving forward due to her climate activism.
Manchin noted that his decision, which kills Biden’s nomination of having Daniel-Davis serve as the DOI assistant secretary for land and minerals management, came in response to a memo that was leaked last week. The memo showed that Daniel-Davis, who currently holds a lower DOI position, has made previous decisions that show she is more concerned with climate policy than energy security.
Manchin wrote his opinion for the Houston Chronicle, saying Daniels-Davis was making decisions that put the country’s energy security at risk and were keeping him from being able to support her nomination,
“Today, I have also decided, as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, that I will not be moving forward with the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis as assistant secretary of the Department of Interior. Daniel-Davis approved higher royalty rates for the Alaskan Cook Inlet sale, which were explicitly designed to decrease fossil energy production at the expense of our energy security,” he added, “Even though I supported her in the past, I cannot, in good conscience, support her or anyone else who will play partisan politics and agree with this misguided and dangerous manipulation of the law.”
Journalist Julie Tsirkin tweeted the warning Manchin gave the Biden administration, “Going forward, each and every proposed nominee I will review will be judged through one prism: Are they political partisans first or Americans first?”
Daniel-Davis was first nominated by Biden in June of 2021. Twice the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee has prevented her nomination from going to a floor vote. Yet in January, Biden announced his intention to send her nomination back to the committee.
Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines said he expects Biden to put forth incompetent nominees. He told Fox News,
“Laura Daniel-Davis’ nomination should have been pulled over a year ago when she first failed to pass the committee. The latest attack on oil and gas is no surprise. The Biden administration, his out-of-touch nominees, and Senate Democrats have long put the cult of climate change ahead of energy security and local communities.”
Various Senators called for Daniel-Davis’ nomination to be withdrawn following a leaked memo from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The memo was addressed to Daniel-Davis and exhibited that U.S. energy security would be enhanced by the Biden administration charging lower royalty rates for oil and gas leases in Alaska. Yet despite the effect on energy security, Daniel-Davis opted to charge the maximum royalty rate, conveying a lack of concern for America’s energy infrastructure.