As deputy secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt was often the muscle behind then Interior secretary Ryan Zinke’s attacks on wildlife and lands. He led efforts to eliminate protections for millions of acres of greater sage grouse habitat, helped to weaken the Endangered Species Act, and pushed for drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the last unspoiled wild places on earth.
As a former lobbyist for Big Oil and Big Ag, Bernhardt worked for years to weaken safeguards on wildlife, air quality, and marine ecosystems. His résumé includes attacks on salmon protections in California, blocking limits on air pollution from coal-fired power plants, tapping an aquifer beneath the Mojave Desert for commercial use, and allowing toxic waste disposal in national forestlands.
Bernhardt also had no problem exploiting our public lands during his previous stints at the Interior Department, when he fought to open up Yellowstone National Park for commercial activity and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling.
The last thing we need is another industry shill in a position to shape the future of our public lands, waters, and wildlife. As we did with Zinke, NRDC will continue to block any attempts to put our natural heritage at risk.