Will Mary Landrieu Advance Obama’s War on American Energy?

Rhea Suh is a long-time green community operative.

In October, President Obama nominated her to serve as the next Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks for the Department of Interior. A vote on her nomination has been held up in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee – and for good reason.

While two committee hearings on Suh’s nomination have raised significant concerns about her qualifications, Suh’s recorded sentiments are the real concern. For example, prior to her work at Interior, Suh facilitated environmental grants with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and later the David and Lucille Packard Foundation where she opined :

The focus is on natural gas development throughout the inter-mountain West and in Canada. The pace and magnitude of this development is easily the single greatest threat to the ecological integrity of the West.


Climate change, population growth and unfettered development threaten much of the West’s iconic landscapes.

To make matters murkier, Committee Chairman Sen. Wyden (D-OR) oddly tried to slip by a vote on Suh’s nomination while the Federal government was closed for weather but fell far short of a quorum.

Before the ironic snow-imposed closing, Politico framed the upcoming vote in terms of politics:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) inched closer Tuesday to her goal of chairing the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — but she won’t officially get the job until after the panel takes a vote that could complicate her reelection chances.

Of course Landrieu, who has since taken over as committee chair, has already backed Suh’s nomination. It has not gone unnoticed by many. NextGen Climate Action, a green group funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, has signaled for Landrieu to use her newfound position to advance green-friendly goals.

Why would someone from a state that generates jobs and wealth through traditional energy sources support someone who, given her claims to have participated in every major DOI policy decision, must have been instrumental in implementing the blanket offshore drilling moratorium that threatened so many Louisiana jobs?

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