News releases

Bernhardt’s confirmation as DOI Deputy Secretary a victory for oil and gas interests

Posted Jul. 24, 2017 / Posted by: Audrey Fox

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm David Bernhardt as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior today, despite his long history working as a lobbyist for Big Oil and Big Ag. Bernhardt’s clients have included CITGO, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Background on Bernhardt’s ties to industry is available here.

Just last week, it was reported that Bernhardt continued to take payments from Westlands Water District and advise them on legislation and other matters, even after formally de-registering as the District's lobbyist on Nov. 18 and joining the Trump transition team.

Ben Schreiber, senior political strategist at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement before the vote:

Bernhardt has years of experience serving corporate polluters so he’s going to fit right into the Trump Administration’s Department of Interior. Americans want our public lands protected, not plundered for corporate profit. The Senators who voted to confirm Bernhardt are enabling Trump’s trashing of America’s public lands.

Expert contact: Ben Schreiber, (202) 222-0752,
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744,


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