Newly released financial disclosure forms from the Department of Interior reveal the cozy relationship between Interior appointees, nominees, and industry. The forms were released following a Freedom of Information Act request by Western Values Project for Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e) forms.
In addition to receiving the forms of political appointees at Interior, Western Values Project (WVP) received financial disclosures for six presidential appointees, including Brenda Burman, Susan Combs, Douglas Domenech, Ryan Nelson, Timothy Petty and James Reilly. The forms are now available on at the Department of Influence website.
“The extensive connections, both financially and personally, between industry and lobbyists connected to Interior and appointees at the department is the exact opposite of the ‘drain the swamp’ rhetoric promised to the American people by this administration,” said Jayson O’Neill, Deputy Director of the Western Values Project. “The foxes have already cleaned out the henhouse, and are now trying to gut our public lands to line the pockets of their special interest cohorts.”
Susan Combs, the yet to be confirmed nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget, owns at least six oil and gas leases in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. In the past year, she received at least $271,006 from oil and gas companies who pay her “rent or royalties” to operate the leases.
Scott Cameron’s, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management, and Budget, previous employer, Tuknik Government Services, has received a total of $3,724,364 in contracts from the Interior Department since he began working at the department. Tuknik Government Services appears to have never been awarded a contract from Interior prior to Cameron’s appointment.
WVP published a report on possible instances of corruption at Interior under Secretary Zinke. The report included how another former employer of Cameron, R3 Government Solutions, LLC., received a contract from Interior after he joined.
Also published on Medium.