Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, reportedly made the announcement on Friday that he will prevent a crucial candidate for the Department of Interior (DOI) from moving ahead due to her activity over climate change.
Because of this decision, President Biden’s nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis to serve as the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Land and Mineral Management is effectively dead.
Manchin explained that he made his decision in response to an internal agency memo that was made public the previous week.
A lower-ranking employee at the Department of the Interior, Daniel-Davis, was shown to have signed off on an explicit decision to prioritize climate policy over energy security in the memo.
In June of 2021, President Biden made the initial nomination of Daniel-Davis for the job.
At that time, she has participated in two confirmation hearings held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, but the committee has twice decided against moving her nomination forward to a vote on the Full floor.
On January 23, the White House made the announcement that it would be returning the nominee to the Senate for a third time.
Daniel-Davis, who is currently serving as principal deputy secretary for land and minerals management, formerly held a leadership position for the National Wildlife Federation, an organization that has advocated for policies that are far to the left on the political spectrum regarding climate change.
Senate Republicans have been steadfast in their opposition to her candidacy and have voiced worry over her perspectives on energy-related topics.
On March 3, a memo that was addressed to Daniel-Davis and written by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was discovered to have been leaked.
The document revealed that the agency projected that energy security would be strengthened if the administration charged lower royalty rates for an offshore oil and gas lease in Alaska.