Greenpeace Urges Senators to Reject Interior Secretary Nominee David Bernhardt

by Ryan Schleeter

March 27, 2019

UPDATE March 27, 2019, 11:47 am ET: Two activsts dressed as “swamp monsters” joined David Bernhardt’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to cheer for their buddy. Photos available here

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Tomorrow, Interior Secretary Nominee David Bernhardt will testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. In light of his numerous conflicts of interest and career spent pandering to the fossil fuel industry, Greenpeace USA is urging Senators to oppose Bernhardt’s nomination.

Greenpeace USA Climate and Energy Campaign Director Janet Redman:

“David Bernhardt heading the Interior Department would be a dream come true for fossil fuel companies, but a nightmare for the American people. If ethical violations alone don’t disqualify him from holding this position, his record of selling out public lands and waters to his industry buddies should. People who care about clean air, safe water, and a healthy climate have been sounding the alarm about Bernhardt’s history of catering to fossil fuel executives since he was named Deputy Secretary two years ago, and he’s done nothing since but prove he’s not fit for this job.

“Any member of Congress who takes climate change seriously must vehemently oppose this nomination. In our current climate crisis, it is not enough to fight for solutions like a Green New Deal, alone. We must also be working urgently for a just transition away from coal, oil, and gas to 100% renewable energy — and that means resisting Bernhardt’s attempts to open up federal lands and waters to his friends in the fossil fuel industry.”

ENDS

Notes:

This week, the Center for Investigative Reporting released a 2017 recording of oil industry executives “celebrating” the unprecedented access they would have to the White House with Bernhardt in at the Interior Department.

A recent MapLight analysis revealed Bernhardt and his former lobbying firm have donated almost $1 million to senators who will vote on his confirmation since 2013, including more than $225,000 to members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

In December 2018, Greenpeace USA and the Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter asking the Interior Department’s Inspector General to investigate David Bernhardt’s possible ethical violations, including recusal violations, and to respond to requests for increased transparency from the agency.

Contact:

Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, rschleet@greenpeace.org

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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