Yesterday, the Trump administration renominated controversial industry ally Kate MacGregor to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, second-in-command to Interior Secretary and former mega-lobbyist David Bernhardt. MacGregor’s previous nomination failed to receive a full Senate vote due to concerns about her dangerous views on public lands protections and efforts to expand offshore drilling.
“Despite bipartisan concern over Kate MacGregor’s allyship to oil and gas corporate interests, including efforts to expand offshore drilling, as well as a resume riddled with pro-industry stances, this revolving-door special interest operator is once again on a path to join Secretary Bernhardt’s swamp team at Interior. President Trump’s redux of MacGregor’s controversial nomination signals that expansive offshore drilling is still a top priority,” said Deputy Director of Western Values Project Jayson O’Neill.
A full profile on Kate MacGregor is available on Western Values Project’s (WVP) Department of Influence website, a one-stop-shop documenting Trump and Bernhardt’s revolving door between special interest lobbyists and political appointees at Interior.
MacGregor was originally nominated in 2019 and while she advanced out of committee, her nomination was quickly put on hold by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) over concerns about her ongoing efforts to expand offshore drilling. Sen. Rubio eventually lifted the hold but it stalled her nomination until the session expired.
President Trump chose to renominate MacGregor this session despite the ongoing concerns and new information that found MacGregor has held at least 62 meetings with special interests and lobbyists attempting to open more U.S. waters to offshore drilling, including meetings specifically about Florida’s coastal waters.
Not only does MacGregor hold dangerous views on public lands protections and industry allowances, but also she potentially perjured herself in front of a Senate committee during her nomination hearing, putting her nomination further into question.
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.