It’s been nearly three years and eight months since President Trump’s inauguration, and there is still no Senate-confirmed director for America’s largest land management bureau. Just over a month ago, President Trump nominated anti-public lands extremist William Perry Pendley to be the director only to withdraw his nomination after overwhelming pressure from conservation groups and public land users that caused political blowback.
However, in an attempt to circumvent the law and U.S. Constitution, Interior Secretary Bernhardt granted Pendley acting director authority on July 29, 2019, and allowed Pendley to write and sign his own succession order, granting himself acting director authority indefinitely. A new ticker on WilliamPendley.org finds that Pendley has served as the bureau’s acting director for over 409 days, well beyond the limit established in law. The House Natural Resources Committee’s majority held a hearing today on William Pendley’s unfitness to lead the Bureau of Land Management.
If Pendley was unfit to pass a Senate confirmation process, then he’s certainly unfit for government employment and deserves a pink slip immediately. The idea that he put himself in charge of America’s public lands and shared resources indefinitely is corrupt, illegal, and violates the constitution. While complicit senators remain silent, Pendley is still at the helm of BLM and will continue to oversee public lands and public access decisions and projects that he openly despises,” said Jayson O’Neill, Western Values Project Director. “The Trump administration’s desperate attempt to greenwash a historically dirty, polluting public lands and environmental record ignores reality and reeks of desperation.”
Despite a public lands and environmental record that is unequivocally the worst in history, the administration has been desperately trying to take credit for the fund’s Congress passed with bipartisan support in the Great American Outdoors Act. Pending public lands and public access projects funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) — a program Pendley openly despises — in Montana and Colorado will be overseen by Pendley if he remains in his post.
In addition to WilliamPendley.org, a website detailing Pendley’s illegal tenure, relevant past, conflicts, and extremist views, Western Values Project released PendleyOvertime on Twitter and complied additional research on of some of the most salient examples of why senators must demand a pink slip for Pendley.