Interior deputy pick appears headed toward confirmation

By Michael Doyle | 07/10/2024 01:30 PM EDT

Shannon Estenoz appeared Wednesday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Shannon Estenoz.

Shannon Estenoz, nominee to be deputy Interior secretary, on Wednesday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Shannon Estenoz on Wednesday got bipartisan praise during a relaxed Senate confirmation hearing on her nomination to serve as the Interior Department’s deputy secretary.

While GOP members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee blasted the Biden administration’s energy and endangered species policies, they cheered Estenoz’s own work and appeared open to her promotion to serve as the department’s No. 2 executive.

“You’ve shown a willingness to listen and to learn,” Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming told Estenoz. “You’ve demonstrated an ability to work across party lines and to make a sincere effort to find common ground on many very difficult issues. So I appreciate the collaborative approach that you’ve taken.”


Barrasso, the committee’s ranking member, contrasted his high regard for Estenoz to his disdain for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, whom he called a “completely irresponsible and unfit secretary of the Interior.”