Today, Western Values Project — an Accountable.US project based in Montana, defending America’s public lands — released the latest in a series of corruption reports highlighting how the Trump administration is costing public lands users across Western states. Today’s report focuses on New Mexico and can be downloaded here.
“Donald Trump and his friends are getting richer by shutting the rest of us out of our American birthright,” said Deputy Director of Western Values Project Jayson O’Neill. “Everything from ancient cultural sites to the air all New Mexicans breath has been endangered by the Trump administration’s rampant corruption and unchecked recklessness. Any member of Congress who pretends to care about public lands must act to actually protect those lands from this unprecedented level of exploitation. A good place to start would be stopping President Trump’s war on New Mexico’s public lands.”
A revolving door of staff and huge campaign contributions to the President and his allies have paved the way for special interests to jeopardize some of the most iconic landscapes in the state. Strikingly, the report shows that top drillers with vested interests for developing New Mexico’s public lands have a close relationship to the administration:
Exxon, the owner of BOPCO, and individuals from the oil and gas corporation gave over half a million dollars to either the Trump campaign or national Republican party committees over the last two election cycles. Many current Interior staffers either worked for Exxon before working in the Trump administration or own stock in the company.
Devon Energy gave over $1 million to various Republican committees, including the RNC, during the 2018 election cycle alone. In addition, Mike Catanzaro – a former top White House staffer on domestic energy and environmental policy – previously lobbied for Devon in the private sector, to which he has since returned, highlighting the revolving door tendencies of the Trump administration.
EOG Resources has given at least $13,000 to President Trump’s campaigns since 2016, and many thousands more to various Republican committees, including the RNC. Gabrielle Gerholt, was an alternate member to an Interior board, also represented EOG as an attorney at Holland & Hart.
Supporting materials for the report can be downloaded here.