Republicans Applaud Biden’s Interior Appointment Tommy Beaudreau, a former Obama administration official
Republicans are hailing President Joe Biden’s choice for Interior Department deputy secretary, Tommy Beaudreau, who previously worked in the Obama administration.
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Beaudreau as deputy secretary, with 41 Republicans and 47 Democrats voting in favor in an 88-9 vote. Biden chose Beaudreau in April after his first candidate, Elizabeth Klein, failed to gain Senate support.
“It’s apparent Mr. Beaudreau understands America’s need for an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, who expressed his admiration for Beaudreau. Barasso is a member of the Senate Energy Committee.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, stated her support for Beaudreau, who grew up in the state and said he “understands what goes on within the agency.” While speaking with E&E News, he said, “He’s grounded in simply kind of the management and operating side of things, as well as the policy side.”
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Beaudreau’s confirmation is a rare bipartisan moment in an increasingly acrimonious debate over Biden’s energy and climate policies.
Beaudreau, a former Interior chief of staff and lawyer, is usually regarded as a centrist.
He is politically close to Murkowski, the former chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who has considerable power over oil drilling, endangered species, and other issues inside the agency. Senators Murkowski and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a moderate Democrat who now chairs the energy committee, expressed worry that Biden’s earlier pick, Elizabeth Klein, was too antagonistic to the oil and gas business.
Klein, a leftist who is favored by environmental groups, would not be a sufficient counterweight to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a former Democratic congressman from New Mexico who has criticized the oil and gas business, the two lawmakers warned the White House.
In March, Haaland was confirmed by a tight margin of 51-40, making her the first Native American to chair a Cabinet department.
Barrasso, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, said he was impressed with Beaudreau, who served as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which was established to regulate offshore drilling following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
He thinks Beaudreau may “act as a voice of reason in an administration,” he said. This is a condensed version of the information.