The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Yetta Stein, Communications Associate

Western Values Project

(406) 529-1682

State of The Union Expectations: Trump Greenwashing and Gaslighting

President will address the nation amidst unprecedented corruption and corporate favors undermining public lands.


Amidst historic rollbacks to America's public lands protections and the gutting of environmental, clean water, and wildlife protections, President Trump is set to deliver the State of the Union (SOTU) tonight. The president's address will no doubt be a bold attempt to greenwash a disastrous public lands and environmental record, including, most recently, the gutting of America's bedrock environmental law, undermining clean water protections, pro-industry shifts to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MTBA), and the rampant culture of corruption plaguing the Department of Interior.

"Trump's address tonight will try to spin this administration's destructive actions from prairie biscuits into spray-tanned gold. It's all a misguided attempt to deceive Americans across the country. Like an overcooked steak, no one should buy it," said Jayson O'Neill, Deputy Director of Western Values Project. "The truth is, President Trump has never stood up for our public lands or environment and Interior Secretary Bernhardt has always been on the side of his former pro-industry and corporate lobbying clients over the American people."

It remains unclear what exactly Pres. Trump will try to tout concerning America's public lands, wildlife, wilderness, water, or general corruption imbedded in Interior Secretary Bernhardt's department. Given the wide array of problems crafted by Pres. Trump and pushed by Sec. Bernhardt at the behest of his previous industry clients, below is a list of three things to watch for in tonight's SOTU.

  1. After Sec. Bernhardt led the charge to roll back the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that will benefit at least 14 of his previous lobbying clients, will Pres. Trump celebrate the pro-industry push that jeopardizes America's public lands, outdoor heritage, and public health?
  2. Anti-public lands zealot William Pendley is "running" the Bureau of Land Management while uprooting the critical agency out of Washington D.C. and away from the decision-making table. Will Pres. Trump address the not-so-veiled attempt to dismantle America's largest land management agency? Will the President who promised to drain the swamp address Interior's failure to respond to Congressional questions and public records requests surrounding the plan and purpose of the reckless move?
  3. With a former mega-lobbyist for extractive industry leading the charge and 26 former lobbyists, 25 former political operatives, and a staggering 35 former extraction industry employees collectively running Interior, time and again decisions at Interior have benefitted industry and special interests while jeopardizing America's outdoor heritage. Will Pres. Trump defend the culture of corruption he has cultivated and gaslight the American people with misleading facts and distort reality?

To learn more about President Trump's and Sec. Bernhardt's conflict-ridden team arming Interior with extremist ideas and the influence infiltrating our outdoor heritage, visit,, and

Western Values Project brings accountability to the national conversation about Western public lands and national parks conservation - a space too often dominated by industry lobbyists and their allies in government.