Western Values Project released a new website and video criticizing Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s controversial decision to co-locate the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) new headquarters with several extractive corporations and special interests.
“Sec. Bernhardt and Interior officials have been touting their weak arguments in favor of relocation, but their shared office space with special interests makes clear the true intentions behind the move,” said Jayson O’Neill, Deputy Director of Western Values Project. “Bernhardt has been slowly and effectively turning his department into his own lobbying shop, and moving the BLM headquarters into an office sandwiched between oil and gas special interests is simply putting the agency in the palm of extractive corporations.”
Moving the critical land management agency has long been a goal of the Trump administration. When Interior Secretary David Bernhardt officially announced that the BLM would be relocating its headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, the office address was quickly pinpointed as sharing an office building with Chevron gas company, among other extractive interests.
Sec. Bernhardt pushed forward with BLM’s planless and purposeless move to continue to undermining public lands protections while dismantling federal institutions. Though plans clearly outlining the purpose of the agency relocation have been promised, there have been few details offered by Interior.
The move has been widely criticized, with unanswered questions leading to concern from members of Congress. The department has even failed to meet deadlines in telling current BLM staff where they will be moving. Recently, Western Values Project was forced to file suit against the Trump administration for violating the law by failing to release public documents related to the relocation decision.