Sen. Joe Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has announced that he will block the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis as assistant secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI) over her climate activism. This decision effectively kills President Biden’s nomination for the position. Manchin’s decision came in response to an internal memo that was leaked last week, which showed that Daniel-Davis approved a decision to prioritize climate policies over energy security.
In an op-ed for The Houston Chronicle, Manchin wrote, “Today, I have also decided, as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, that I will not be moving forward 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 continued. “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.”
Daniel-Davis, who currently serves as the principal deputy secretary for land and minerals management, has failed two confirmation hearings before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senate Republicans have consistently opposed her nomination, expressing concerns about her views on energy issues. She has also previously served in a leadership position for the National Wildlife Federation, a group that advocates for far-left climate policies.
Manchin’s decision to block Daniel-Davis’s nomination is not surprising given his position as a moderate Democrat who represents a coal-producing state. He has previously expressed concerns about the impact of climate policies on his state’s economy and has been critical of President Biden’s push to transition to clean energy.