Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., sought Tuesday to reassure skeptics on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that she would respect the importance of fossil fuel production if she’s confirmed as Interior secretary.

Kyle Herrig, founder and president of the left-leaning group Accountable.US, hosted a press call Monday defending Haaland and casting her GOP critics as defending the oil and gas industry. Republicans have described their opposition to Haaland as rooted in her policy positions, including the bills she has co-sponsored.

But Herrig said there’s a “curious pattern” to the Biden nominees who have sparked the strongest Republican opposition, including Neera Tanden, his pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“You would have to ask them, but it does seem to be that white males are having a lot easier time getting through the Senate than diverse nominees,” Herrig said.