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The Trump administration’s culture of corruption has reached a new low. With Interior Secretary David Bernhardt now using his leadership role to promote the interests of past clients, notably the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), our public lands are in danger.
The IPAA doesn’t care about America’s outdoor heritage. The association represents oil companies like Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Marathon Oil that have multibillion-dollar stakes in exploiting previously protected lands and waters and harming working-class communities and communities of color.
We are calling on Congress to investigate whether Secretary Bernhardt violated the spirit or the letter of any ethics laws that limit federal officials’ interactions with and on behalf of former clients. Additionally, we demand Congress investigate past lobbying clients of David Bernhardt — such as the IPAA — to discern whether they purposely and knowingly took advantage of their relationship with the Interior Secretary for financial gain.
America’s outdoor heritage cannot wait. The harm Sec. Bernhardt is working towards cannot be undone — but we can stop him before our public lands are gone for good.