Friday, March 28, 2014

Senate Energy Committee votes to advance controversial Interior Department nominee

A divided Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Thursday to send the controversial nomination of Rhea Suh for assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks to the Senate with a recommendation that she be confirmed. The vote was 12-10 with all Democrats, including new chairwoman Mary Landrieu, D-La. voting yes, and all Republicans opposed. Louisiana's Republican congressional members, led by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, her leading challenger in the fall Senate race, have labeled Suh hostile to oil and gas development, citing her 2007 comments on behalf of a private environmental foundation that "the pace and magnitude of this [natural gas] development is easily the single greatest threat to the ecological integrity of the West." Landrieu said that Suh has assured the committee that she would "absolutely support the responsible development of natural gas and other fossil fuels from our public lands."...more

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