The U.S. Senate should reject the nomination of David Bernhardt as interior secretary.

Too often these days, Cabinet appointees just want to hinder the agencies they are charged with running. Bernhardt has an agenda to enrich fossil fuel corporations, especially those he has lobbied for, at the expense of the public’s natural resources.

At a recent hearing, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, made it clear to Bernhardt that the entire New England delegation is opposed to oil and gas drilling off our shores, and that King would be in big trouble if he voted for Bernhardt and then Bernhardt pushed for offshore drilling. Bernhardt assured King that he would follow the law and consider the delegation’s position. But as an advocate for drilling, Bernhardt would likely consider the delegation’s position all right — he would consider it a minor obstacle to his agenda of opening up our coasts to the fossil fuel industry. In committee, King voted for confirmation anyway, and Bernhardt will likely be perfectly happy if King gets in trouble with voters.

Even Republican senators should want to reject Bernhardt. He has already brought major ethics issues and conflicts of interest to the Department of the Interior. He has nearly three times more former clients or employers who actively lobbied his department than any of President Donald Trump’s 23 other cabinet nominees.

The U.S. Senate should reject David Bernhardt as secretary of the interior and prevent his  give away of our public lands and resources.

 

Ken Spalding

Wayne


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