The Progressive


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For Immediate Release
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Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Applauds Withdrawal of William Perry Pendley's Nomination as Director of Bureau of Land Management

The Withdrawal Comes After PEER Filed a Complaint Last Month Saying Pendley’s Directorship of BLM Has Skirted the Law, Violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act Over the Past Year


Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is amending its legal complaint after the Trump administration announced its intention to withdraw the nomination of William Perry Pendley to head the Bureau of Land Management over the weekend.

PEER and Western Watersheds Project (WWP) filed federal suit on May 11, 2020, seeking a court order that both Pendley at BLM and David Vela at the National Park Service occupied their positions in violation of the Constitution and the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, among other deficiencies.
Senior Counsel Peter Jenkins at PEER issued the following statement in response to reports of the impending withdrawal of Pendley's nomination:
Bravo to the Senator pressure that led to the withdrawal of William Perry Pendley's nomination to be the Director of the BLM. This action shows the importance of the confirmation process because it weeds out fringe characters like Mr. Pendley. The White House clearly recognized the drag the Pendley controversy was having on Republican political candidates in the West. A nominee for a position cannot also serve as the de facto acting official in that position at the same time under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Pendley's role as de facto acting Director of BLM for the last year has violated that Act and he should not be allowed to continue.
There has been strong outrage expressed by several Senators as well as NGOs that Bernhardt/Trump continue to show contempt for the normal process of installing acting officials, required under the Vacancies Act, by keeping Pendley in his position. The recent GAO report describing the illegality of the acting lead officials at the Department of Homeland Security closely parallels what has occurred in the Department of the Interior. Not only Mr. Pendley, but also Margaret Everson of the National Park Service and Lanny Erdos of the Office of Surface Mining, are part of the pattern of evading the law regarding acting officials.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals. PEER's environmental work is solely directed by the needs of its members. As a consequence, we have the distinct honor of serving resource professionals who daily cast profiles in courage in cubicles across the country.