Hageman to Serve on House Natural Resources and Judiciary Committees

Wyoming’s new congresswoman has promised to pursue investigations into the Biden administration

  • Published In: Politics
  • Last Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) will serve on the House Natural Resources and Judiciary Committees. She has promised to pursue aggressive investigations into the Biden administration. (photo via House.gov/Rep. Harriet Hageman)

By Jacob Gardenswartz

Special to the Wyoming Truth

WASHINGTON — Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) announced Wednesday that she will serve on two “very important” committees in the U.S. House this Congress: Natural Resources and Judiciary.

A natural resources and water attorney by trade, Hageman is forthright in her anti-conservation views, and throughout her campaign, she frequently criticized former Rep. Liz Cheney’s decision not to serve on that committee.

“This is one of the first times in our history that we don’t have anybody on that all-important committee. That tells you where [Cheney’s] priorities are,” Hageman said in a 2021 interview.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., listens during the tenth vote in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

On the Natural Resources Committee, Hageman will have an important vote on legislation impacting a wide swath of issues ranging from energy production and mining to parks and public lands to fisheries and wildlife, along with Native American tribal matters.

Hageman has long advocated for the loosening — or outright elimination — of many federal environmental regulations, as well as the for the transfer of public federal lands back to the states. She’s lambasted the Biden administration’s policies aimed at fighting climate change and described the Environmental Protection Agency as “corrupt.”

As a result, Hageman has come under fire from environmental activists and supporters of stronger climate action. During her campaign, a coalition of Wyoming residents argued she is a “danger to our public land freedoms.” More recently, the government watchdog group Accountable.US      released a report documenting Hageman’s ties to oil and gas, highlighting the income she receives from ownership of oil and mineral rights in Wyoming and the political contributions she’s received from the oil and gas industry.

“Instead of holding Big Oil executives accountable for price gouging consumers at the pump, this critical committee will now have an anti-public lands extremist whose personal wealth is directly tied to Big Oil and other extractive industries,” Jordan Schreiber, director of energy and environment at Accountable.Us, said in a statement reacting to Hageman’s committee appointment.

Representatives for Hageman would not comment on Schreiber’s remarks, but the congresswoman has been forthright in her desire to promote oil and gas development. “Through this committee I will be focused on unleashing our abundance of energy resources and on the need to properly manage our federal lands,” she said in a Wednesday statement.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday evening, Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) celebrated Hageman’s assignments. “In the House, [Natural Resources is] the most important committee to Wyoming,” Lummis said. “I’m just truly delighted that those are her committee assignments. She’s going to do a great job for both Wyoming and for our country.”

Myron Ebell — who got to know Hageman through her previous environmental legal work and who now serves as director of the center for energy and environment at the libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute — echoed Lummis’ praise.

“Harriet will be an outstanding member of the House Natural Resources Committee and powerful advocate for Wyoming’s interests on the half of the state controlled by the federal government,” he said in an email Wednesday to the Wyoming Truth. “I can think of few people who can bring more ability plus determination to the fights ahead than Harriet.” 

In addition to serving on Natural Resources, Hageman also was appointed to the powerful House Judiciary Committee, responsible for overseeing federal courts, administrative agencies and law enforcement bodies.

During her congressional campaign, Hageman said she was interested in a post on the House Oversight and Reform Committee as a means to pursue aggressive investigations into the Biden administration, even once suggesting that she’d received a tentative offer to serve on it. Though she was not ultimately appointed to that group, her role on Judiciary will still enable her to participate in the many investigations into Biden and his family that Republicans have planned.

In her Wednesday statement, Hageman highlighted how the Judiciary Committee will “have a vital role in many of the investigations and hearings that are necessary” on matters ranging from the origins of the COVID-19 virus to the U.S.-Mexico border to “just what connections President Biden may have had to his son Hunter’s shady business dealings.”

Beyond Hageman’s appointments, there’s controversy surrounding some of the members with whom she’ll be serving — House leadership authorized Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) to be seated on committees, a reversal after Democrats and some Republicans had voted to boot them from such assignments in 2021 due to their incendiary comments.

In November of 2021, Gosar posted a photoshopped anime video showing him appearing to kill Rep. Alexandria Occasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and attacking President Joe Biden. All House Democrats and two Republicans — Cheney among them — subsequently voted to censure Gosar and strip him of his committee assignments.

Earlier that year, Greene was similarly stripped of her committee posts by a bipartisan group of all Democrats and 11 Republicans, after comments surfaced in which she indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019.

With Republicans back in charge, Greene will now serve on the Homeland Security and Oversight committees, while Gosar will serve on Oversight and Natural Resources, alongside Hageman.

In late 2021, Hageman was asked about Greene and Gosar’s history of antisemitism in an interview with Jewish Insider. Greene has repeatedly compared Biden to Adolf Hitler and once alleged that space lasers funded by the Rothschild family were responsible for the 2018 California wildfires; Gosar has appeared on more than one occasion with white nationalist and prominent antisemite Nick Fuentes.

“Hold them accountable,” Hageman told the publication when asked about antisemitism within the GOP. “If they’re espousing antisemitic views, hold them accountable.”

Her representatives did not respond to an inquiry about if she intends to act on her past comments while serving alongside Gosar on Natural Resources.

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