In anticipation of the final vote on the nomination of David Bernhardt to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Madeleine Foote, League of Conservation Voters’ Legislative Representative, released the following statement:
“On the same day that the Department of the Interior announced their proposal to scrap the Obama-era fracking rule, which would have better protected our public lands and health from the impacts of this dangerous drilling practice, the Senate will vote on whether David Bernhardt should join Secretary Zinke in his mission to sacrifice our treasured places to oil companies. Allowing Bernhardt, a top lobbyist for agribusiness and the oil and gas industry, to oversee Interior is truly like putting a fox in charge of the hen house. There is no doubt that he will work to give his friends in the oil industry a reprieve from fracking regulations while continuing the administration’s goal of repealing regulations that protect our air, water, lands, climate and wildlife for future generations.
“Bernhardt’s long list of conflicts of interest, record of altering government science for political gain, and recent revelations that he may have lied about his lobbying activities during his confirmation hearings more than disqualify him from this position, and we are more committed than ever to hold him and the entire Trump administration accountable for putting polluter profits ahead of safeguards for our health and environment.”
In a letter last month urging senators to oppose Bernhardt’s nomination, LCV outlined several of the nominee’s conflicts of interest and deep ties to industries regulated by DOI, as well as ethical shortcomings during his previous service at DOI.