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Dec. 17, 2020 by Robert Glicksman

Biden Nominated Deb Haaland to Lead the Department of the Interior. Here Are Five Top Priorities for the Agency.

President-elect Joe Biden tapped Deb Haaland to head up the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees our nation's public lands, wildlife conservation, and key aspects of energy development. Currently a House representative from New Mexico, Haaland has led the national parks, forests, and public lands subcommittee on the House Natural Resources Committee. She would be the first Native American to lead the department.

If confirmed, Haaland will oversee an agency the Trump administration systematically worked to dismantle. Secretaries Ryan Zinke and David Bernhardt did everything in their power to make the department as industry friendly as possible — shrinking national monuments, gutting endangered species protections, throwing open the doors to fossil fuel extraction, and more.

Though Haaland will face significant challenges, she can begin to reverse harmful policies and ensure our public lands are conserved and used in ways that benefit us all.

Here are five priorities Haaland and the department should act on right away:

  1. Restore curbs on methane waste. Methane is a potent pollutant that accelerates climate change. Wasteful practices like “flaring” burn off excess methane from oil and gas wells. Flaring also threatens public health because it releases cancer-causing toxins into the air. Low-wealth individuals and …

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Dec. 17, 2020

Biden Nominated Deb Haaland to Lead the Department of the Interior. Here Are Five Top Priorities for the Agency.