Haaland declines to commit to ending Biden oil and gas leasing pause

Interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland would not commit Tuesday to ending President Biden’s temporary pause on new oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters, ensuring the policy will be a major source of conflict with Republicans and the fossil fuel industry.

Haaland, carefully avoiding stating her own policy views in a confirmation hearing, reiterated that she would follow Biden’s agenda.

“I don’t believe it is a permanent ban,” Haaland said in response to questioning from Republicans on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who asked if she would advise Biden to extend the pause on new oil and gas leasing. “If confirmed, it is President Biden’s
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