Credo Action

Tell The Senate: Block and resist David Bernhardt for secretary of the interior

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The petition to the Senate reads:

"We demand you oppose David Bernhardt’s nomination."

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    Tell The Senate: Block and resist David Bernhardt for secretary of the interior

    Thanks to more than 114,000 CREDO activists along with anti-corruption and environmental groups who called out his many abuses of power, Ryan Zinke resigned as secretary of the interior in December.

    But to replace him, Trump chose someone just as dangerous. David Bernhardt is an oil and gas lobbyist who worked to destroy endangered species protections for decades.1 As deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior under Zinke, he helped open our public lands and coastlines to mining and drilling.2

    Bernhardt's record makes it very clear. If confirmed, he will continue executing Trump's anti-environmental agenda, selling off natural resources to his cronies and dismantling the regulations that protect land and water for future generations. But with enough pressure, we can stop Bernhardt's confirmation and force Trump back to the drawing board.

    Tell the Senate: Block and resist David Bernhardt's confirmation as secretary of the Department of the Interior.

    Bernhardt has helped lead some of the Trump administration's worst attacks on public lands. As deputy secretary and now acting secretary at the Department of the Interior, he has pushed to expand offshore drilling, roll back fracking regulations, open drilling near Chaco Canyon and and permit drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.3 During Trump's 35-day government shutdown, Bernhardt irresponsibly instructed national parks to remain open while understaffed, putting visitors at risk and resulting in widespread damage.4

    As a career lobbyist, Bernhardt is so cozy with polluters that he carries around a card listing all his former employers so he can keep track of his conflicts of interest.5 But he isn't making it as easy for the rest of us to track them. Although agency officials are supposed to report on their schedules, Bernhardt's calendar includes more than 150 entries over the course of a year that failed to mention either a description of the meeting topic or who attended.6

    Again and again, members of the Trump administration try to use the resources of the federal government to enrich their friends and themselves. Bernhardt is no different. But again and again, pressure from activists has forced Trump's corrupt appointees to resign over their conflicts of interest and ethical scandals. In some cases, we even stopped appointees from being confirmed in the first place. With enough pressure on our senators, we can do it again.

    Tell the Senate: Block and resist David Bernhardt's confirmation as secretary of the Department of the Interior.

    References:

    1. Michael Doyle and Jeremy Jacobs, "Did Bernhardt once try to blow up Endangered Species Act?" E&E News, Feb. 22, 2019.
    2. Timothy Cama and Miranda Green, "Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary," The Hill, Feb. 4, 2019.
    3. Adam Markham, "Chaco Canyon at risk: Interior nominee Bernhardt wants to drill on lands sacred to tribes," Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Feb. 22, 2019.
    4. Wes Siler, "The David Bernhardt Scandal Tracker," Outside Magazine, Feb. 22, 2019.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Ibid.