WASHINGTON – After being appointed to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources last week, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who is a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, was elected the vice chair of the full committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. In addition, the Congresswoman will sit on the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources considers legislation and oversees policy that relates to energy resources, public lands, Indian affairs, water, wildlife, and resource management.
The Congresswoman’s role on the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has a direct impact on New Mexico given the state’s vast energy resources, diverse American Indian community, and extensive public lands.
“Our deep respect for our land, air, and water are at the heart of why my seat on the House Natural Resources Committee is so important to New Mexico. Those issues are even more important because they intersect with job creation through the renewable energy and outdoor recreation economies,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland. “I am honored as a freshman to be elected to these leadership roles.”
One of Congresswoman Haaland’s top priorities is tackling climate change and building a strong renewable energy economy in New Mexico and around the country. With more than 300 days of sunlight each year, New Mexico is poised to be a leader in solar energy production, which has a ripple effect into solar production and energy transmission jobs. In addition, the plains east of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico’s First Congressional District are ripe for wind energy production and industry.
The outdoor recreation economy contributes $9.9 billion in consumer spending and $2.8 billion in wages and salaries in New Mexico. New Mexico’s First Congressional District is home to Cibola National Forest, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Petroglyph National Monument, and Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.
“Hiking, camping, and our historic sacred sites are part of who we are as New Mexicans, and also attract folks from across the globe to our beautiful state,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland. “Being chair of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands means I will be able to work directly on protecting our way of life and important economic drivers.”
As one of the first Native American women in Congress, Haaland will add unique perspective and dialogue to the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, which works to protect tribal sovereignty authority over lands and natural resources, empower tribal governments, and foster Tribes’ political and economic development.