After stacking his cabinet with special interest operatives, Trump will be flanked by two former industry lobbyists today as he delivers remarks on his reckless environmental and public lands record. A recent analysis by the journal Science found that the Trump administration is responsible for the largest reduction of public land protections in U.S. history among numerous other regulatory rollbacks for special interests that will have generational impacts on the nation’s environment, public health, public lands, and wildlife.
In response, Western Values Project Deputy Director Jayson O’Neill issued the following statement:
“No amount of grandstanding by Trump and his ex-lobbyist cabinet heads will wipe away their abysmal record of undermining America’s public lands and outdoor heritage for special interests. Choreographed PR stunts with fictitious talking points won’t fool public land users.”
Both Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler – two ex-industry lobbyists that have ascended to top-level cabinet positions after both former heads were fired – are scheduled to attend the event.
Bernhardt was a mega-lobbyist at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and represented dozens of companies that have businesses before the department he now oversees. Bernhardt became the subject of a multi-faceted ethics investigation just four days after his confirmation. He’s been characterized as the ‘ultimate D.C. swamp creature.’
Similarly, Wheeler worked as a lobbyist for coal and energy firm Faegre Baker Daniels. Wheeler potentially violated lobbying disclosure laws when he represented a Canadian uranium corporation, EFI, that successfully lobbied the Trump administration to illegally reduce Bears Ears National Monument through an executive order.