Far-left Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez (NM-CD-02) lavished praise upon Joe Biden’s Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland after she ordered that a ten-mile radius around Chaco Canyon must be banned from oil and gas leasing to the ire of the Navajo Nation, which vehemently opposed the action after being shuttered from the process by the Department.
“There are few places that are as important to our history, culture and heritage as Chaco – a sacred place worthy of protection. I stand with the Pueblos of my district and welcome @SecDebHaaland’s decision to withdraw mineral development in this region,” Vasquez tweeted following the decision.
However, shortly following Haaland’s Chaco Canyon proclamation, 11 U.S. House representatives sounded the alarm to the Interior secretary and top Interior Department ethics official Heather Gottry about her conflicts of interest regarding her family’s involvement in the decision.
The GOP lawmakers, led by U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), wrote, “Under the standards of ethical conduct, federal government officials are required to recuse from particular matters involving specific parties where ‘a person with whom he has a covered relationship is or represents a party to such matter,’ unless authorized by the agency to participate.”
“Furthermore, a federal government official is barred from using their position for the private gain of family members or nonprofit organizations,” the lawmakers continued.
The signers noted that Haaland has been heavily involved with Pueblo Action Alliance (PAA), which lobbied extensively for the DOI to ban oil and gas leasing at the cultural site.
Fox News wrote, “PAA Executive Director Julia Bernal boasted in 2021 that she met personally with Haaland, whom she referenced as ‘Auntie Deb,’ about the group’s broad opposition to oil and gas leasing.”
Haaland’s daughter Somah, who works for PAA, lobbied for the ban to members of Congress and others involved in policy decisions relating to the order.
“In addition, the letter cited Haaland’s latest ethics filing, which showed her husband Skip Sayre does consulting work for the Laguna Development Corp., a firm that is affiliated with the Laguna Pueblo, an Indigenous tribe. Like the PAA, the tribe has advocated in favor of a buffer zone around Chaco Canyon where new leasing would be banned,” the report continued.
However, as Haaland’s clear conflicts of interest in the deal hit news waves, Gabe Vasquez remains radio silent on the Democrat former congresswoman from New Mexico’s actions as Interior secretary.
“Gabe Vasquez is always happy to jump aboard the extremism train at the expense of New Mexicans,” the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokeswoman Delanie Bomar wrote. “Vasquez will bend over backwards to excuse corruption and conflicts of interest as long as it means shutting down New Mexico oil and gas production.”
50 percent of New Mexico’s general fund derives from the oil and gas industry. Vasquez is a radical environmentalist who backs Green New Deal policies and “environmental justice” left-wing initiatives to attack the oil and gas industry. He narrowly claimed the seat he currently occupies in 2022 after far-left Democrats in the New Mexico Legislature gerrymandered the seat to snatch it from GOP hands.