02:14 PM

For Immediate Release

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Holds Hearing on the Nomination of an Ex-Oil and Gas Lobbyist for Interior Secretary

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing today on the nomination of current Acting Secretary David Bernhardt to be Secretary of the Interior.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration and Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt’s allegiance is first and foremost to Big Oil and other industrial interests. In his short tenure at Interior, Mr. Bernhardt has rushed through planning for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and water pumping from the 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. He also has been involved in efforts to undermine the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of our oldest and most successful conservation laws, as well as reversing a landmark strategy to protect greater sage-grouse, an imperiled icon of the American West.”

“The Department of the Interior badly needs leadership that restores the public’s trust in its mission to conserve our natural resources, not more of the same failed policies and ethical challenges that have plagued the department under this administration. 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.”

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.