On Tuesday, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a Democrat former congresswoman from New Mexico’s First District, was once again humiliated in front of a U.S. congressional panel.
Haaland couldn’t answer basic questions from Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-WY), a former Interior Department secretary under President Donald J. Trump.
Zinke asked Haaland during a hearing, “Is it your policy that critical minerals should be sourced from countries that are stewards of the environment like the U.S. and our allies, or sourced from Russia and China that don’t share our same values?”
Haaland responded, “Our policy is to, um, work to make sure we have the best, um…”
Zinke responded, “I’ll take that as a maybe,” asking further, “Are you aware that China produces more emissions than any other country on the planet?”
“I have probably read that somewhere,” Haaland responded.
The congressman then asked, “Have you read the Department of the Interior report on critical minerals dated December ‘17?” Haaland responded that she had not.
“Are you aware that China controls, by proxy, production [of] the supply chain of critical minerals that are critical to both the EV (electric vehicle) world and defense?” asked Zinke.
Haaland said, “Thank you for that information.”
After further questions from Zinke, Haaland continued to respond, “Thank you for the information, congressman,” seeming not to know the basic information referenced.
She continued regarding a question about sourcing these minerals domestically rather than abroad, “We are working currently on identifying those critical minerals…. That is with the U.S. Geological Survey…. I know energy independence is a priority of… [Joe] Biden.”
Following the embarrassing hearing, Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block wrote, “We are not sending our best and brightest to Washington. Biden’s appointees and nominees have a difficult time answering basic questions. She’s been the Sec of Interior for 2 years. Does she know anything? Embarrassing.”
Another wrote, “This woman makes [Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg] look experienced & qualified,” adding, “That was pathetic.”
During Haaland’s confirmation hearings, there were similar flubs by the then-congresswoman, who could not answer basic questions before being elevated to the Interior Department post by Joe Biden.