(Reuters) -A U.S. Senate committee on Thursday voted 10-10 along party lines on the nomination of Montana conservationist Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Bureau of Land Management, setting the stage for advancement to a full Senate vote.
The BLM director will be central to the Biden administration’s effort to address climate change through the management of public lands, including a current review of the federal oil and gas leasing program.
Because of the tie vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will have to take procedural steps to bring the nomination to the full Senate for debate and a vote, according to Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin. Both are Democrats.
Stone-Manning received “no” votes from all of the Republican members of the committee. In the weeks leading up to the vote and at Thursday’s hearing, Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming, Steve Daines of Montana and others were vehement in expressing their concerns about her ties to a radical environmental group when she was a student in the 1980s.
The BLM, a division of the Interior Department, manages more than a tenth of the nation’s surface area, overseeing permitting for energy development, grazing, timber harvesting and recreation.