Home | Menu | Sign Up | Donate

He's compromised in so many ways, he has to write it down.

Let me introduce you to David Bernhardt, Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of the Interior:

Before joining the department, Bernhardt lobbied for years on behalf of some of the biggest polluters-for-profit on Earth, including Halliburton, Statoil, and Sempra Energy.

His ties to Big Oil and the fossil fuel industry run so deep that in his year and a half at DOI, he's had to recuse himself regularly due to conflicts of interest. Nevertheless, government watchdogs have said he should have recused himself even more.

Bernhardt has so many conflicts of interest, he can't even remember them all; he has to carry a list of them around. That's not a metaphor; he literally has a list in his pocket.

It might be easier for him to carry a list of fossil fuel corporations he isn't connected to.

When Donald Trump appointed Bernhardt, a lobbyist for Big Oil bragged to a roomful of execs, "We know him very well, and we have direct access to him."

And sure enough, during Bernhardt's tenure, the Interior Department has granted more than a dozen of his former clients their every wish: expanding leases for oil and gas drilling, rolling back protections for endangered species, and burying scientific reports that interfere with his pro-industry commitment.

Confirming Bernhardt would be a mistake that would move our country backward, to a nearly 100-year-old energy policy. And at a time when our children and grandchildren are counting on us to step forward boldly, we just can't afford to make that mistake.


Posted on March 29, 2019.

What's new

See all news and updates.

Meet Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

Learn More