Controversial Second-In-Command Interior Nominee Met With Oil Giants Who Lobbied For Environmental Rollbacks

Kate MacGregor Buddies Up With Same Corporations That Donated to Trump’s Campaign and Now Collocate with Public Lands Agency

Today, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), will hold the second of only two hearings on the controversial National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rollbacks proposed by the Trump administration. Research shows that Kate MacGregor, pending nominee to be second-in-command at the Interior Department, has held several meetings with the same mega-oil corporations that have lobbied for the NEPA rollbacks and have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Trump’s campaign. One of these oil and gas corporations also now collocates with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters in Colorado.

“The cherry on top of the Trump administration’s culture of corruption at the Interior Department might be the pending confirmation of industry-ally Kate MacGregor. We already knew of Bernhardt’s unbridled allegiances to extractive corporations but these additional revelations about MacGregor further confirm that she is as swampy as the former lobbyist himself. The mounting evidence against MacGregor should give pause to any Senator considering supporting her nomination, especially coastal state senators in the crosshairs of Trump’s offshore drilling push,” said Jayson O’Neill, Deputy Director of Western Values Project

Kate MacGregor hosted a handful of meetings with mega-oil corporations Chevron and Exxon. The two corporations have both lobbied in favor of the recently-announced NEPA rollbacks that will ensure easier access for industrial extractive resource development of America’s natural resources on public lands and in coastal waters. Further, one of the oil corporations, Chevron, now shares an office building with the recently relocated BLM headquarters in Grand Junction, CO. 

Both Chevron and Exxon have contributed over $500,000 dollars to Trump’s campaign and inauguration. 

O’Neill continued, “These revelations should, indeed, call into question the move to bring MacGregor’s nomination to full Senate vote. Her conflicted ties to industry are clear. She has been a willing accomplice to Bernhardt by doing the leg work for his former clients and special interest allies.”

MacGregor’s confirmation was already contentious and uncertain, especially after Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) put a hold on her nomination due to her stances on offshore oil drilling. MacGregor has held no less than 62 meetings with groups lobbying to expand offshore oil and gas during the just first two years of the administration. She’s also the go-to for Bernhardt’s former client, the Independent Petroleum Association of America. 

While a full-Senate vote on MacGregor’s nomination is scheduled for this afternoon she has faced several hurdles in the process, including potentially perjuring herself in response to a question from Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) about her involvement in canceling a scientific study on the health effects of mountaintop removal mining.

Previously, Western Values Project (WVP) joined dozens of other conservation organizations in sending a letter to committee members urging them to reject her nomination because of her track record driving a so-called “energy dominance” agenda for Interior, her troubling anti-conservation views, opposition to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and a demonstrated bias in favor of extractive industries.

A full profile on Kate MacGregor is available on WVP’s Department of Influence website, a one-stop-shop documenting President Trump and Interior Secretary Bernhardt’s revolving door between special interest lobbyists and political appointees at Interior.

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