‘It’s the law’: Murkowski confronts BLM candidate over ANWR
President Biden’s candidate for the Bureau of Land Management works at the National Wildlife Federation.
Senator Lisa Murkowski was among several Republicans who disputed this during Tracy Stone-Manning’s confirmation hearing this week. The BLM is necessary to make federal lands available for multiple uses, including development. Murkowski asked how this was compatible with Stone-Manning’s career.
“You work for an organization which for years has worked to prevent the sale and transfer of national public lands to state and private owners,” Murkowski said at the hearing.
First, Murkowski confronted Stone-Manning about the quashing of a BLM land action since the dying days of the Trump administration. The Trump administration has issued orders freeing BLM land in Alaska for state selection and possible mining development. The Biden administration has put these orders on hold. Murkowski told Stone-Manning that it would be up to him to end the hiatus and make this land available to the state, in order to fulfill the land rights promised to Alaska upon its accession to status. State.
“I am looking at this situation that you will be watching, and it causes me deep concern,” Murkowski said.
Stone-Manning was conciliatory.
“Senator, that’s right,” the candidate said. “And if I had the honor of being confirmed, I understand that being a director of BLM is a very different job than I did at the National Wildlife Federation.”
Stone-Manning said she would obey the law. Murkowski made a quick pivot and reminded him of what was in the tax law of 2017. One section – added by Murkowski herself – demands that the government hold two auctions for drilling leases on the coast of L ‘Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The first was in January.
“If you are confirmed as the director of BLM, you will be responsible for the second lease sale by 2024, which is currently mandated by law,” Murkowski said.
Stone-Manning said an ongoing environmental lawsuit could influence what happens to the second lease sale, but she again vowed to follow the law.
Murkowski told him about the legal warrant half a dozen more times. She read this section of the law aloud.
” It’s the law. It’s the law, ”Murkowski said. “And litigation is ongoing, but it’s the law.”
The Bureau of Land Management manages 70 million acres in Alaska, as well as petroleum and mineral resources under other federal lands.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has yet to schedule a vote on Stone-Manning’s confirmation.