Industry-friendly David Bernhardt is (unfortunately) here to stay

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Meet your new Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt: a former lobbyist for Big Ag and Big Coal who’s all too happy to follow through with the Trump administration’s pro-polluter agenda. Following heated debate over Bernhardt’s ethically questionable industry ties, the Senate ultimately confirmed him with a vote of 57 to 41. Bernhardt has served as the agency’s acting director since the resignation of his scandal-plagued predecessor, Ryan Zinke, at the start of the year. During that time, he’s attempted to undo a landmark sage grouse conservation plan in the West, blocked the publication of scientific research on harmful pesticides, and released a half-baked environmental review backing the environmentally disastrous proposal to build Pebble Mine at the headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay. We’re now bracing for more of the same. Coming down the pipeline (literally, sigh), we expect more attacks on endangered species and public lands—along with more proposals to expand fossil fuel development. 

Related Content