"Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin will support Tracy Stone-Manning, the beleaguered nominee tapped to run the Bureau of Land Management, according to a spokesperson for the West Virginia Democrat.
Manchin’s vote is a crucial one, as all 50 Republicans appear poised to vote against her in the evenly divided Senate. A spokeswoman for Manchin shared the lawmaker’s stance with E&E News yesterday evening. Manchin also announced yesterday the committee will meet on Thursday to vote on Stone-Manning’s nomination.
Stone-Manning has come under increasing fire from Republicans, who have labeled her an "eco-terrorist" for her involvement in a 1980s plot to sabotage a logging operation in Idaho by inserting metal spikes into hundreds of trees. While she was not directly implicated in the tree spiking, a man convicted in the plot told E&E News that she was aware of it in advance, contradicting her earlier statements (Greenwire, July 15). She later won immunity for testifying against the plotters.
Despite those concerns, sources familiar with discussions surrounding the nomination say Manchin’s position isn’t a huge surprise — he has largely backed President Biden’s prerogative to fill his Cabinet and is close with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Stone-Manning’s former boss who personally recommended his one-time aide for the post."