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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management announced that an attorney who previously worked on agency issues for environmental groups will serve as the new deputy director.

The U.S. Department of the Interior said Nada Culver, who was appointed to the Denver position, will effectively run the agency for the short term, replacing former agency director William Perry Pendley, The Daily Sentinel reported Tuesday.

The department also said Culver's new position is the first in the succession order. Culver will perform delegated duties of the director until someone is hired. Pendley also ran the agency as the deputy director since the agency's director position has been vacant.

The position is subject to a Senate confirmation process following nomination by the president.

President Joe Biden has not yet nominated anyone to serve as director.

The Interior Department made the announcement on Monday, saying the department's political team “proudly reflects the diversity of America" with more than half the team identifying as people of color and 80% as women.

The bureau oversees nearly a quarter-billion public acres in the U.S. West and much of the nation’s development of onshore oil and gas.

Culver said she could not comment on her new job, instead referring questions to the department.

She most recently served as vice president of public lands and senior policy counsel at the National Audubon Society. Previously, she served as senior counsel and senior director for policy and planning at the Wilderness Society, where she created a group that worked with people on participating in land use planning processes and management decisions.

Culver started her career working on environmental issues. She was a partner with the law firm Patton Boggs, now Squire Patton Boggs.

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Biden senior adviser says White House will start acting on reparations now

More On: reparations Obama says reparations were a ‘nonstarter’ in his presidency Herschel Walker tells Congress Black Americans shouldn’t get reparations Maryland church donates $500K in reparations to ‘atone’ for slavery This city is calling on Congress to approve reparations

The White House is “going to start acting now” to address reparations to African Americans, a White House senior adviser said in a new interview, as Congress debates forming a commission to study how the policy could be implemented.

Speaking to “Axios on HBO” in an interview set to air Monday, White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond discussed efforts targeted to helping minority communities.

While the administration may back the study, Richmond added that they were not waiting on Congress.

“We don’t want to wait on a study. We’re going to start acting now,” he told the outlet.

“We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African Americans,” Richmond told the outlet. “[W]e have to do stuff now.”

“If you start talking about free college tuition to [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and you start talking about free community college in Title I and all of those things, I think that you are well on your way,” he continued, noting that a timeline for Congress’ commission was not known.

In legislation first introduced by the late Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in 1989, and reintroduced repeatedly in years since by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tx.), Democratic lawmakers have called for Congress to form a commission to study the issue.

That legislation saw an uptick in interest last summer following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose killing by a white police officer sparked nationwide outrage.

Reparations had been debated for decades prior to this past summer, without any results.

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond discussed efforts targeted to helping minority communities in an “Axios on HBO” interview. Getty Images

After clinching the Democratic presidential nomination last year, President Biden added supporting the study of reparations to his platform.

In early February, the White House said Biden is open to naming a group to study the issue.

“He certainly would support a study of reparations,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing in early February. “He understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime.”

Asked about the potential panel, Richmond said, “I think that [the creation of a commission] will pass.”

The Biden senior adviser and former Louisiana congressman went on to point to one of the president’s myriad of executive actions, referencing one “breaking down barriers in housing, making sure that African-Americans can pass down wealth through homeownership, that their homes are not valued less than homes in different communities just because of the neighborhood it’s in.”

Filed under congress ,  joe biden ,  reparations ,  slavery ,  3/1/21

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