10:01 PM

For Immediate Release

Oil and Gas Lobbyist Nominated as Interior Secretary

The following statement is from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, on President Trump’s nomination of David Bernhardt to serve as Secretary of the Department of the Interior:

“Defenders of Wildlife is deeply concerned that Acting Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, who helped preside over the Trump administration’s destructive policies on our public lands and wildlife for the past two years, is being nominated for Interior Secretary. The Department of the Interior badly needs new leadership to restore the public’s trust after Secretary Zinke’s departure, but David Bernhardt will just expand on the failed policies and the ethical challenges that have plagued the leadership of the department from the beginning of this administration. Defenders of Wildlife opposes his nomination. 

“A former lobbyist with strong ties to the oil, gas and big agricultural industries, Bernhardt has so many conflicts of interest that he needs to carry a crib sheet to remember them all. Bernhardt is attempting to siphon off oil from the iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and water from the desert in Mojave National Preserve. As Deputy Secretary of the Interior, he’s been leading a sweeping rewrite of the Endangered Species Act that will deprive endangered and threatened species of the protections they need.

“We will work tirelessly to hold Mr. Bernhardt and the Interior Department accountable to ensure that it does its job – to protect America’s public lands and wildlife and serve the public’s interest.”

Oil and Gas Lobbyist Nominated as Interior Secretary

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.