Activist Group’s Leader Declines To Participate In House Hearing On Her Org’s Alleged Influence Over Biden Admin

Activist Group’s Leader Declines To Participate In House Hearing On Her Org’s Alleged Influence Over Biden Admin

  • April 30, 2024

Nick Pope, Daily Caller

The head of an activist organization alleged to have improperly influenced official Department of the Interior (DOI) decisions declined to participate in a Tuesday congressional hearing addressing the subject.

Julia Fay Bernal, the head of the Pueblo Action Alliance (PAA), declined to take up the House Committee on Natural Resource’s invitation to testify at a hearing focusing specifically on “examining the influence of extreme environmental activist groups in the Department of the Interior.” PAA — a group that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s daughter, Somah, works for — is alleged to have improperly influenced the agency’s June 2023 decision to restrict fossil fuel activities in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

Haaland’s DOI closed off public lands within ten miles of New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon from any future fuel leasing activity in June 2023 for the next twenty years, a move which government watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust said raises ethical questions about Haaland’s impartiality given that her daughter is a member of PAA, which advocated for that exact outcome, according to the text of an August 2023 ethics complaint filed by the watchdog.

The PAA aims “to dismantle and eradicate white supremacy, capitalism, imperialism, hetero-patriarchy and extractive colonialism” and to achieve the “rematriation of everything stolen,” according to its website.

The Laguna Pueblo tribe, to which Haaland belongs, celebrated the DOI’s decision to clamp down on leasing activity near Chaco Canyon, but the Navajo Nation opposed the move because it could threaten livelihoods of tribal members, according to the Arizona Republic.

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