Barrasso: Mr. Beaudreau Must Serve as Voice of Reason at the Department of the Interior

April 29, 2021

Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered the following remarks at a hearing to consider the nomination of Tommy P. Beaudreau to be deputy secretary of the Interior.

The hearing featured testimony from Mr. Tommy Beaudreau, nominee to be the deputy secretary of the Interior.

For more information on witness testimony click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“I also would like to welcome Tommy Beaudreau to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as to your family.

“Thank you all for joining us and for your service to the country.

“The deputy secretary of the Interior is a critically important job to my home state of Wyoming and to the entire West.

“If confirmed, you will work alongside the secretary to lead an agency with more than 70,000 employees.

“Department of the Interior employees manage 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including our national parks, our national monuments, our wildlife refuges, our multiple use lands, and the outer continental shelf.

“They also manage the largest water supply in the West, our nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives, and our nation’s responsibilities to U.S. territories and Freely Associated States.

“One of their most vital functions is overseeing the development of traditional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters.

“In Wyoming, we are proud to be America’s leading producer of coal, uranium, trona, and bentonite.

“Almost 50 percent of Wyoming’s surface area and 69 percent of Wyoming’s minerals are owned by the federal government.

“Energy production on public lands is the engine of Wyoming’s economy.

“It creates good-paying jobs.

“It provides tremendous revenue for the state.

“In Wyoming, energy and mineral activity on Department of the Interior land had a $17.3 billion economic impact in 2019 and supported over 57,000 jobs.

“For years, the State of Wyoming has collected over $1 billion annually in royalties and taxes from energy production on federal lands.

“Wyoming is not the only state that benefits from energy production on public lands.

“Mr. Beaudreau’s home state of Alaska and Secretary Haaland’s home state of New Mexico, as well as many others rely on the production of oil and natural gas on public lands.

“Mr. Beaudreau, you know from personal experience the critical importance of energy production to the livelihoods of Americans all across the United States.

“In 2013, you came before this committee as President Obama’s nominee to be assistant secretary of the Interior for policy, management, and budget.

“You testified that your family moved to Alaska so your father could – ‘get a good job working in the Prudhoe Bay oil field on the North Slope.’

“You stated: ‘Because of my upbringing, I have a first-hand understanding of the importance of responsible resource development to the economic well-being of communities and families.’

“Your appreciation of the benefits that energy production on public lands affords to millions of Americans is very welcome news.

“If you are confirmed, it is imperative that you keep those Americans who have jobs in energy production on public lands at the forefront of your mind.

“The Biden administration seems intent on destroying the livelihoods of oil, natural gas, and coal workers in the West.

“It wants to rip away all the advantages that traditional energy production that those sources bring to our states, our local communities, and our families.

“Mr. Beaudreau, the Biden administration has given every indication that it wants to throw oil and gas workers, who have jobs like your father’s, out of work.

“I hope that if you are confirmed, you can serve as a voice of reason in an administration that is waging an economic war on energy workers in my state and across the country.

“I thank the Chair and look forward to your testimony.”