Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) discusses his opposition to the historic nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) to serve as Secretary of the Interior.

According to Daines, Haaland holds views on energy development that are not part of the “mainstream.” He cited her stance on oil pipelines that run through tribal treaty lands.

“She’s been enthusiastic in her calls to stop not just the Keystone pipeline but all pipelines, calling for a ban for all pipelines,” Daines said on the floor of the U.S. Senate on March 11, 2021.

“She even protested the Dakota Access Pipeline herself,” said Daines, who serves on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs as well as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which considered Haaland’s confirmation last month.

Haaland, a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, addressed her views during the hearing in February. She said she went to the #NoDAPL encampment in North Dakota because the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Indian nations felt they weren’t being adequately consulted about their own treaty territory.

The federal courts have repeatedly ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to take tribal views into account before approving the final portion of the pipeline. The agency has been ordered to take yet another look at the matter.

Despite opposition from Daines and other Republicans, the Senate is moving forward with Haaland’s nomination to lead the Department of the Interior, the federal agency with the most trust and treaty responsibilities so tribes and their citizens.

An initial vote is taking place on the afternoon of March 11. A final vote is expected on March 15.

Note: Cover photo of #NoDAPL encampment against the Dakota Access Pipeline by Joe Brusky