Interior secretary accused of ‘apparent ethical breaches’ over oil and gas drilling ban

Interior secretary accused of ‘apparent ethical breaches’ over oil and gas drilling ban

  • August 17, 2023

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is accused of “apparent ethical breaches” over a ban on oil and gas drilling in New Mexico, according to a complaint from a watchdog group.


Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), a government watchdog, filed an official complaint with the Department of Interior’s Inspector General against Haaland regarding the drilling ban near Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, her participation in a film “and her own public statements.”


“Secretary Haaland apparently feels no compunction about participating in matters involving oil and gas leasing in Chaco Canyon despite past statements as well as her family’s — and her own — advocacy on the issue that reveals she is anything but impartial,” PPT director Michael Chamberlain told Fox News Digital.


In the complaint, PPT noted that in June that Haaland “withdrew public lands from future fuel leases within the Greater Chaco area” and that her child, Somah Haaland, “is a prominent member of an activist organization that lobbied federal officials seeking to restrict oil and gas leasing in the area.”


PPT wrote that the interior secretary’s “behavior evinces a failure to fully consider and live up to” her “ethical obligations as a senior government official in a position of public trust,” and called for an investigation “as soon as possible.”


The watchdog alleges Haaland “appears to have violated her ethical obligations by improperly participating in decisions concerning Chaco Canyon, a matter in which a reasonable person could have cause to question her impartiality.”

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