Energy & Environment

The oil state senator is said to have opposed another progressive Democrat to department leadership.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has sought to expand the oil and gas industry in her state. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

By BEN LEFEBVRE

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The White House has withdrawn its nomination of Elizabeth Klein to become the Interior Department’s deputy secretary, as the Biden administration faced push back from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, sources familiar with the situation said Monday.

Details: Klein is a former Obama administration official and deputy director of the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center at the New York University School of Law who focused on renewable energy and climate change issues. The Biden administration pulled her nomination after hearing of opposition coming from Murkowski, a moderate Republican whose vote is crucial to Biden’s legislative agenda and who has sought to expand the oil and gas industry in her state, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

The White House and a spokesperson for the Department of Interior did not immediately respond to questions. A spokesperson for Murkowski did not reply to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that would have considered Klein’s nomination, did not immediately answer questions.

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