Swamp Update: Environmental Edition

With two former energy lobbyists at the helms of the EPA and Interior, it’s no surprise that the agencies in charge of preserving our environment and protecting public health have been run over by special interests.  Note to Wheeler and Bernhardt – doling out favors to past clients is not part of your job…


Trump’s Interior Department has taken at least 15 actions that benefit his acting Interior secretary’s former lobbying clients.


CNN: “Since Bernhardt joined the department in 2017, it has made at least 15 policy changes, decisions or proposals that would directly benefit Bernhardt’s former clients.”


For example, the Trump administration tried to speed up critical scientific studies related to a California water project, which could benefit one of Bernhardt’s former clients.


KQED: “The Trump Administration has ordered federal biologists to speed up critical decisions about whether to send more water from Northern California to farmers in the Central Valley, a move that critics say threatens the integrity of the science and cuts the public out of the process.


KQED: “Some see the fingerprints of acting interior secretary David Bernhardt, who once helped lead the charge to increase pumping and weaken environmental standards in the Delta.”


Andrew Wheeler once leveraged his ties to Trump to broker a meeting between Interior and a mining company.  His lobbying disclosures don’t mention the meeting or any of his contacts with Interior during that time.


Roll Call: “Wheeler, confirmed Feb. 28 as the new EPA administrator, was integral to getting Energy Fuels Resources’ foot in the door before the review. Citing his prior work on the Trump presidential campaign, Wheeler reached out to set up the meeting and attended it. His contacts with Interior during that period are not included in his lobbying disclosures.”