Interior nominee aces hearing but questions remain

By Garrett Downs | 07/11/2024 07:04 AM EDT

Shannon Estenoz won bipartisan praise after her confirmation hearing. One influential Senate Republican was unconvinced.

Shannon Estenoz

Shannon Estenoz, nominee for deputy Interior secretary, appearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday swooned over Shannon Estenoz, the nominee for deputy secretary at the Interior Department.

Estenoz, the current assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, received high marks from the committee’s Republicans and independents for her promises to work with them.

Still, many Republicans remain deeply irate with with the Biden administration’s Interior Department for its frequent decisions blocking new fossil fuel development. It’s a hurdle for Estenoz as she seeks confirmation.


Chair Joe Manchin (I-W.Va.) told POLITICO’s E&E News that he’s firmly in Estenoz’ corner. Manchin previously blocked a separate Senate confirmation for acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis, who Estenoz would replace, for her stance on fossil fuels.