Interior Department Reveals No. 2 Interior Official Is Leaving

No. 2 Interior Official Reveals He's Leaving

( – The Department of the Interior (DOI) has the large responsibility of managing the United States’ public lands, wildlife refuges, and national parks. It also works in the conservation of endangered species and other environmental efforts. Tommy Beaudreau is the number two official in the DOI, second to Secretary Deb Haaland, but he is now stepping down.

On Wednesday, October 4, the Interior Department confirmed Beaudreau’s upcoming departure. He is slated to leave at the end of the month and cited needing more time with his family as his reason. Beaudreau has been with the agency for a decade; he was first appointed during former President Barack Obama’s tenure. In 2021, he became the deputy secretary.

According to The Hill, speaking about his departure, Beaudreau said that he “love[s] the Interior Department, and it has been the greatest honor and responsibility of [his] career.” Likewise, Haaland had only good things to say about him, noting that “He has been a valued counselor and friend.”

Where Haaland has drawn ire from Conservatives for siding with environmentalists and Progressives, Beaudreau was the opposite. He was viewed as a moderate of sorts, and was sometimes accused by the Left of siding with Big Oil. He was also the one to make the official announcement regarding the Willow Project, a move that Biden drew tons of criticism for, considering his stance on green energy.

Beaudreau has also been instrumental in implementing infrastructure improvements and conservation measures. Haaland credits him with influencing “every aspect” of the DOI’s work. The deputy secretary has also received praise from David Hayes, who previously held the role.

It’s not clear how the department plans to replace Beaudreau at this point. However, the opening will require another nomination, and depending on who President Joe Biden chooses, it could be another contentious battle like the one Haaland underwent.

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