Skip to content

March 15, 2021

King Votes to Confirm Haaland as Interior Secretary, Looks Forward to Working Together as Chairman of National Parks Subcommittee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, voted to confirm Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to serve as Secretary of the Interior.

“America’s public lands are both national treasures and economic assets, and it is vital that the Department of the Interior is led by a dedicated public servant who is committed to protecting our environment. I am confident that Deb Haaland has the experience and the skill to confront the challenge of climate change and steward our public lands for the next generation,” said Senator King. “From the rocky coast of Acadia National Park to the glory of Katahdin, Maine’s natural beauty is central to our state’s identity and a key driver of our regional economy. Last Congress, we passed the most important conservation legislation of the last 50 years – but in order to fulfill the promise of this bill, execution is just as important as vision. As Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks, I look forward to working with Secretary Haaland to ensure that the Great American Outdoors Act is properly implemented to secure the future of America’s public lands.

“In addition, I am thrilled that Secretary Haaland will bring a unique perspective to her position as our nation’s first Native American Cabinet Secretary – a long-overdue honor,” continued Senator King. “Maine’s tribes are essential to the fabric of our state and nation, and it is past time that they have someone who shares their experiences representing their interests at the highest levels of government, especially given the Department of Interior’s jurisdiction over the Bureau of Indian Affairs. I look forward to working alongside her to support and strengthen the federal government’s consultation with the tribal communities that continue to make immense contributions to our state.”

Last month, Senator King questioned Rep. Haaland on opportunities to address the threat of climate change, the need to regulate methane emissions on public lands, and the importance of implementing of the Great American Outdoors Act in a way that matches Congress’s intent in order to protect America’s public lands.

Senator King is among the Senate’s loudest voices advocating for conservation. He first introduced the Restore Our Parks Act in July 2018 with Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Mark Warner (D-Va.). The bipartisan legislation establishes the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating existing revenues the government collects from on and offshore energy development. The legislation was included as a key provision of the Great American Outdoors Actand in June, Senator King spoke on the floor of the Senate, urging passage of the GAOA as “a gift for our fellow Americans.”  Senator King’s work on this legislation is the culmination of nearly 40 years of work on land conservation efforts in Maine, including helping to establish the Land for Maine’s Future program in 1987 and supporting extensive conservation projects during his time as Governor.

Next Article » « Previous Article