Murkowski was one of four GOP senators who voted in favor of Haaland, the first Native American to lead a Cabinet department, but said she “struggled” with her decision, citing Haaland’s views on oil drilling and other resource development. Manchin also hesitated for weeks before announcing his support for Haaland.
Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed lawyer Brenda Mallory to chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The office oversees environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects and advises the president on environmental issues, including environmental justice. Mallory, director of regulatory policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center, will be the first African American to chair the CEQ in its more than 50-year history.
Mallory previously served as the CEQ’s top lawyer and worked at the Environmental Protection Agency for 14 years. The Senate voted 53-45 to confirm her. Three Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rob Portman of Ohio — supported Mallory.
Beaudreau, the Interior Department nominee, is a lawyer in the Washington office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm’s Environment, Land & Resources Department.
He told E&E News in a 2013 interview that growing up in Alaska was crucial to his role at the Interior Department. “I know how important resource development is to the state. It’s the economic blood of the state. But I also know how important the outdoors are to everyone in Alaska. Everyone in Alaska wants to see that preserved and protected,″ he said.