Deb Haaland is the U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district since 2019. Predictably, she is a lawyer. Less common is that she was a casino executive.

If you are wondering if any of those count as qualifications to run the Interior Department, you are not alone. In the Washington Examiner today, I outline some of the science concerns that people on the left and right who care about wildlife refuges should have when it comes to someone with a fringe political agenda handling public land.

Progressive sites claim that nearly everyone Interior deals with is a Cliven Bundy waiting to happen but the big issue all Americans will face is Haaland undermining science - which will put actual endangered species at risk. She has no qualifications to run Interior except one that counts - she placates the Green New Deal fringe of the Democratic party, who have a lot more militancy in common with Bundy than actual ranchers in Nevada.

Endangered species are unfortunately a subjective claim, often motivated by politics. 70 percent of all endangered species listings came during the Obama and Clinton administrations, even though none of them were actually endangered. Appointees instead changed the definition of endangered from habitat lost in the last 100 years to habitat a computer estimates might be lost in the next century. The Nixon through Reagan administrations had already protected actual endangered species.

My recent comment to EPA. who during the Trump administration had agreed to give Interior control over crop protection products outside science, outlined the many concerns that an Interior Department run by an activist would bring. US Fish and Wildlife or Marine Services lack the ability to evaluate products, which may be the goal. They could just claim hearsay evidence that one critter was harmed and declare all critters at risk and ban products for farmers thousands of miles away.

In the Washington Examiner piece, I note that invasive species currently menace 42 percent of endangered and threatened species, and the only thing that can stop them is modern science.

Politics won't help a bit.

The Biden administration claims they want to be more scientific than Trump - putting an activist who hates farmers and ranchers and distrusts the same science that saved us during the pandemic is not the way to show it.