President Joe Biden pulled his nomination for deputy secretary of the Interior, Elizabeth Klein, on Monday as opposition grew among key votes on Capitol Hill over the progressive pick.
Klein, an environmental lawyer, previously served at the Department of Interior in the Clinton and Obama administrations. With a focus on renewable energy and climate change, Klein reportedly spooked Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski increasingly anxious about the Biden climate agenda curtailing her home state’s economic reliance on oil and gas, according to Politico.
While the Alaska senator’s opposition apparently stemmed from a concern over protecting her state’s oil and gas industry, Murkowski voted to confirm Biden’s radical pick to lead the agency charged with overseeing 20 percent of U.S. land and a quarter of the nation’s oil and gas production, former New Mexico Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland. The new secretary of Interior was sworn in last week.
Murkowski’s office did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.
A website accusing Klein of engaging in rampant ethics violations in pursuit of progressive environmental activism was also launched in recent weeks to torpedo Klein’s chances of Senate confirmation.
Politico reported Monday another former Interior Department figure under the Obama administration promoted by Murkowski is being considered for Klein’s replacement.
Tommy Beaudreau, also an Alaskan native is being vetted for the position, Politico wrote citing “two people familiar with the matter.”