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Senate GOP hails new Interior deputy as ‘voice of reason’ | PA Power and Policy

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate easily confirmed former Obama administration official Tommy Beaudreau as deputy secretary at the Interior Department on Thursday, a rare bipartisan moment in an increasingly bitter fight over President Joe Biden’s policies on energy production and climate change.

Beaudreau, a lawyer and former Interior chief of staff, is widely seen as a moderate and was selected in April after Biden dropped plans for a more liberal nominee who faced key Senate opposition.

His nomination was approved on an 88-9 vote. Forty-one Republicans supported Beaudreau, along with 47 Democrats.

Beaudreau grew up in Alaska and is politically close to the state’s senior senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, a former chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee who holds great sway over oil drilling, endangered species and other issues. Murkowski and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who now heads the energy committee, said they

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White House drops Interior nominee after Murkowski objects | PA Power and Policy

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is withdrawing its planned nomination of Elizabeth Klein to become deputy secretary at the Interior Department amid opposition from Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Klein, who worked at Interior during the Obama administration, was among five women named by then-President-elect Joe Biden to serve as deputy Interior secretaries. But she was never formally nominated and now won’t be, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.

Klein’s withdrawal was first reported by Politico.

Instead, Biden is expected to name Tommy Beaudreau, another former Obama-era Interior official, to be deputy secretary, according to two people familiar with the president’s thinking. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about a nomination that has not occurred.

Beaudreau is a former Interior Department chief of staff and served as the first-ever director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an agency created after

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Haaland OK’d at Interior, 1st Native American Cabinet head | PA Power and Policy

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Monday confirmed New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary, making her the first Native American to lead a Cabinet department and the first to lead the federal agency that has wielded influence over the nation’s tribes for nearly two centuries.

Haaland was confirmed by a 51-40 vote, the narrowest margin yet for a Cabinet nomination by President Joe Biden. Four Republicans voted yes: Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Democrats and tribal groups hailed Haaland’s confirmation as historic, saying her selection means that Indigenous people — who lived in North America before the United States was created — will for the first time see a Native American lead the powerful department where decisions on relations with the nearly 600 federally recognized tribes are made. Interior also oversees a host of other issues,

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