The guy who likes to sell off public lands now gets to manage them

In this week’s installment of “Disconcerting Appointments Made by the Trump Administration,” the U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt selected William Perry Pendley—an ardent advocate for selling off public lands—to head the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Pendley’s credentials are alarming, to say the least. In his time at the Interior under President Reagan, he regularly sided with industry interests in their efforts to use public land for activities like mining or grazing. He has even claimed environmental advocates are “waging war on the West.” And he once characterized fracking, a drilling process that uses copious amounts of water and chemicals to release natural gas from the ground, as an “environmental miracle.” Yeah, not quite. The stakes are high: The BLM (an agency already reeling from staff shake-ups) manages about a tenth of the acreage of the entire country. 

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