For Immediate Release

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Erin Jensen

Big Oil’s Bernhardt Is Wrong Move for the Department of Interior

WASHINGTON - The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing this morning on the nomination of former energy lobbyist David Bernhardt to become the Deputy Secretary of the Interior. Friends of the Earth has compiled a backgrounder on some of Bernhardt’s conflicts of interest here.

Ben Schreiber, Friends of the Earth’s Senior Political Strategist, issued the following statement:

By nominating David Bernhardt, Trump has continued his trend of appointing those who seek to destroy the environment to the very agencies that exist to protect it. Bernhardt has built his career by working for Big Oil and Big Agribusiness both inside and outside of the government and has worked to strip key protections of public lands and waters.

Bernhardt is too conflicted to do this job. During his time at the Interior Department under President Bush, Bernhardt repeatedly demonstrated his lack of ethics. Bernhardt’s lobby firm owns a major financial stake in a controversial Cadiz water project in the Mojave Desert.

Once again Trump is showing that he is using the White House to enrich his friends at the expense of the American people.


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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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