New Mexico officials react to Deb Haaland confirmation

Interior Secretary

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The U.S. Senate voted on Monday to confirm Deb Haaland as President Joe Biden’s secretary of the Department of the Interior. Haaland is the first Native American to serve as cabinet secretary in U.S. history. The Senate confirmed the New Mexico Democrat in a narrow vote of 51 to 40. Officials and organizations from around the state responded to the confirmation Monday.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham responded in a statement Monday:

“This is a proud and historic day for indigenous peoples everywhere, for New Mexico and for the United States of America. Secretary Haaland has made history – and I could not be more proud to know her as a colleague and friend, as a fighter for all, a believer in creating a more just and equitable society. Her leadership at Interior will not only help reverse the harmful policies of the last four years but chart a new, balanced and productive course for the future. I greatly look forward to working with the secretary on the issues that matter to tribes and pueblos and to all New Mexicans.”

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

The Republican Party of New Mexico also responded in the following statement:

“Today’s vote was a bittersweet moment for New Mexico. While Rep. Haaland’s elevation to the Biden Cabinet is a proud moment for our state, her radical position on energy will be devastating to New Mexico. Our oil and gas industry is vital to our state and its financial health, and Haaland has made it clear she opposes fracking, the oil and gas industry and supports the Green New Deal. As Interior Secretary her choices will tear apart this industry and hurt working families across the state, as she sides with President Biden’s leftist energy agenda. Oil and gas provides 40% of New Mexico’s state revenues, billions to our economy and schools and more than 100,000 local jobs. This doesn’t bode well for the energy industry as a whole. Haaland told a Senate Committee ‘There’s no question that fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in America for years to come, and the activity helps fund critical services.’ Let’s hope she’s true to those words and is committed to working with oil and gas.”

RPNM Chairman Steve Pearce

U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico) issued the following statement after presiding over the Senate’s confirmation:

“It was a great honor to preside over the Senate’s momentous confirmation of my good friend Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior. This vote marks a historic moment for our nation: the first time a Native American has ever taken her seat in the President’s Cabinet. As a Pueblo woman, Congresswoman Haaland has a unique and long-overdue perspective to contribute to the Department’s mission of protecting our natural resources and honoring America’s trust responsibilities to Tribal Nations. As former Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, she also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role. I have no doubt that Secretary Haaland will leave an indelible mark on the Department of Interior, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to make a difference for the people of New Mexico.”

U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association also responded to Haaland’s confirmation in the following statement:

“We congratulate Secretary Haaland on her historic confirmation as Interior Secretary, and we look forward to an engaging and productive working relationship with the department and its agencies. The secretary set an encouraging tone of collaboration and partnership in her confirmation hearings, promising to work with all stakeholders to develop and safeguard America’s vast natural resources. Oil and gas development is critical to our state, and federal leasing alone provides New Mexico’s budget with $1.5 billion annually—funds our public schools and healthcare will continue to depend upon for the foreseeable future. We are eager to do our part to proactively combat climate change and ensure our state and nation continues to be a leader in the safe, responsible production of oil and natural gas.”

NMOGA President Ryan Flynn

Mayor of Albuquerque, Tim Keller, released the following statement after Haaland’s confirmation:

“Congratulations to my longtime friend and colleague, Deb Haaland, for making history in her new role as U.S. Secretary of the Interior. It is a well-deserved success. I can’t wait to get to work with Secretary Haaland on everything from land and resource conservation crucial to Albuquerque to the joint management of local cultural gems like the Petroglyphs National Monument.”

Mayor Tim Keller

The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department issued the following statement after the Senate voted to confirm Haaland as Secretary for the Department of Interior:

“The confirmation of Representative Deb Haaland to be the Secretary of the Department of the Interior is historic for New Mexico and Indigenous people everywhere. I am proud to call Deb my friend. She has the compassion and the integrity to lead the Department. Secretary Haaland will not only bring an Indigenous perspective and voice to the Interior and President Biden’s Cabinet, but will also bring a commitment to engage with all stakeholders. We will continue to pray for her as she begins her new journey. This is only the beginning!”

Department Cabinet Secretary Lynn Trujillo

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) tweeted the following on Haaland’s confirmation:

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