Manchin Tanks Biden Interior Department Nominee Laura Daniel-Davis

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced Friday he is pulling his support from a critical Department of Interior (DOI) nominee because of her climate change activism.

Manchin decided to block President Joe Biden’s nominee for DOI assistant secretary, Laura Daniel-Davis, due to concerns she will “play political games” when making decisions concerning U.S. energy security, according to the Friday press release. He cited a deal she approved in Alaska that will reportedly shrink fossil fuel production.

“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,” Manchin said.

“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 added. “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.”

Manchin accused the Biden administration of “play[ing] political games” with the legal purpose of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which he sees as an “all-of-the-above energy policy that invests in energy innovations, rather than energy elimination,” according to the statement.

“This critical legislation is not a political weapon to be used by any party or politician to garner partisan votes or serve a narrow political agenda – it must be about ensuring and promoting America’s energy security,” Manchin said. (RELATED: Milwaukee Police Department Unveils 45-Page Plan To Address ‘Unacceptable’ Violent Crime Rates)

“Instead of following the legislation designed to ensure America’s energy security, they have chosen to illogically advance a partisan climate agenda and appease radical activists,” he continued. “In fact, over the last few months, both the Department of Treasury and Department of the Interior have explicitly and unabashedly violated the letter of the law, the intent of the law, or both, in an effort to elevate climate goals above the energy and national security of this nation.”

Manchin vowed to thoroughly vet all of Biden’s nominees for their potential biases and will refuse to support political activists. He said he would be looking for the answer: “Are they political partisans first or Americans first?”

“Let me be clear: If they choose to continue down this path, there will be consequences now and in the future,” said Manchin.