Interior acting deputy: ‘Things to not like’ in climate law

By Robin Bravender, Kevin Bogardus | 03/06/2024 01:34 PM EST

Internal emails show how political appointees at the Interior Department reacted to compromises made for the massive climate law.

Laura Daniel-Davis.

Laura Daniel-Davis, the Interior Department's acting deputy, seen here at a 2021 hearing on Capitol Hill, had concerns over the climate law deal. Francis Chung/E&E News

When details trickled out about a blockbuster Senate deal on a climate and energy bill in July 2022, Interior Department officials — like many others — were anxiously parsing through the specifics.

One senior Interior official, who has since been promoted to serve as the department’s acting deputy, wasn’t thrilled.

“Some things to not like in here,” Laura Daniel-Davis, who had been nominated but not confirmed for a top department job, wrote to colleagues who were circulating details about what the bill would mean for Interior, according to emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.


The records offer a glimpse into how Biden administration appointees at Interior reacted privately to the news of the deal on the climate bill dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act. One consequential provision in the legislation forced Interior to hold oil lease sales that the Biden administration had canceled.