Trump Officials Side With Corporations

Despite his promise to “drain the swamp,” Trump filled his administration with lobbyists and special interests, and now his top officials continue to make favorable decisions for the companies they formerly represented. Here’s the latest:

Trump urged the Tennessee Valley Authority not to shut down an aging coal plant in Kentucky that got the bulk of its coal from Murray Energy — a company owned by one of Trump’s top supporters and donors.

Politico: “President Donald Trump on Monday publicly pushed the Tennessee Valley Authority to save an aging coal plant in Kentucky that buys its fuel from one of the president’s top supporters.  ‘Coal is an important part of our electricity generation mix and @TVAnews should give serious consideration to all factors before voting to close viable power plants, like Paradise #3 in Kentucky!’ Trump tweeted. … The 1,150-megawatt plant gets the bulk of its coal from a subsidiary of Murray Energy, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Robert Murray, the CEO of the mining company, is a major Trump supporter who has personally lobbied the president to take other actions to help the ailing coal industry, particularly in regions where he sells coal.”

Politico: “Murray is a prolific GOP donor, and his company gave $1 million from his company to the Trump-supporting super PAC America First Action in the last election cycle, among other big contributions.”

New York Times Editorial: “Bob Murray, one of the coal industry’s loudest voices, spent $300,000 on President Trump’s inauguration and got a lot more than good seats.”

Trump’s Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, was also a former lobbyist for Murray Energy.

Politico: “Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who is awaiting Senate confirmation, lobbied for Murray Energy among other clients before joining the Trump administration, including joining the CEO and other company officials in a 2017 meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry to discuss Murray’s policy proposals. Wheeler has said he did not write the action plan Murray presented to the Trump administration.”

Trump’ nominee to lead the Interior Department, David Bernhardt, is also poised to make a favorable decision for a group he once represented as a lobbyist.

New York Times: “David Bernhardt, the agency’s acting chief, wants to roll back endangered-species protections on a tiny fish, a change that benefits few outside a California group he once represented as a lobbyist.”

New York Times: “As a lobbyist and lawyer, David Bernhardt fought for years on behalf of a group of California farmers to weaken Endangered Species Act protections for a finger-size fish, the delta smelt, to gain access to irrigation water. As a top official since 2017 at the Interior Department, Mr. Bernhardt has been finishing the job: He is working to strip away the rules the farmers had hired him to oppose. Last week President Trump said he would nominate Mr. Bernhardt to lead the Interior Department, making him the latest in a line of officials now regulating industries that once paid them to work as lobbyists.”