Statement on Sen. Joe Manchin’s announcement regarding Laura Daniel-Davis

Mar 10, 2023

DENVER—Senator Joe Manchin today reversed his position on the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis, President Biden’s nominee to be the Interior department Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, writing in a Houston Chronicle op-ed that he would not advance Daniel-Davis to a third vote before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin previously supported Daniel-Davis, calling her “incredibly well-qualified.” In today’s op-ed, Manchin wrote that “Going forward, each and every proposed nominee I will review will be judged through one prism: Are they political partisans first or Americans first?”

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“Senator Manchin’s flip-flop is baffling, hypocritical, and short-sighted. He has just given up whatever remaining leverage he had over the Biden administration’s oil and gas leasing plans. Laura Daniel-Davis is and will continue to be the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, with or without Manchin’s support for a promotion. But now the White House and Interior department have no reason to keep catering to Manchin’s whims.

“During the Trump administration, Senator Manchin repeatedly justified his votes to confirm nominees by saying that he ‘always understood the importance of an executive being able to assemble a team of people they trust.’ It appears that standard no longer applies.

“The most telling part of the senator’s reversal is his belief that shaping policy based on the threat posed by climate change makes someone a ‘political partisan.’ Climate policy is not a partisan issue. Climate change doesn’t care whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, or independent. Voters across the political spectrum worry about the threats posed by drought, wildfire, heat waves, rising seas, and other climate disasters. But it’s clear today that Joe Manchin’s real constituents are the oil and gas executives at CERAWeek, not the American people.”