Trump Announces His Pick To Head The Interior Department

Trump To Nominate David Bernhardt As Permanent Interior Secretary

Trump To Nominate David Bernhardt As Permanent Interior Secretary

President Trump announced Monday afternoon he will nominate Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to serve as the next Secretary of the Interior.

Coming back to interior as Zinke's deputy, Bernhardt recused himself from decisions involving a long list of former industry clients to avoid conflicts of interest under ethics rules.

Mr. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and congressman, was nudged out amid a swirl of probes into high-priced travel on government planes and a land deal in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana, that involved the Zinke family and Halliburton Chairman David Lesar.

The Interior Department, which employs more than 70,000 people and oversees more than 20 percent of the United States land surface, has played a large role in Trump's "energy dominance" policy of boosting energy production. He had been a deputy under Zinke.

Bernhardt, now the acting secretary at the Interior Department, is widely expected to continue pushing the Trump administration's plan to boost domestic fossil fuels production by opening more USA public lands to drilling and mining.

After working as a top Interior Department official in the George W. Bush White House, Bernhardt went on to lobby for oil and gas companies as a partner with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck before joining the Trump administration. He represented Noble Energy Inc, Rosemont Copper Co, Sempra Energy, and California's Westlands Water District, among others. Democrats and environmental groups say he's vulnerable to conflicts of interest.

If confirmed by the Senate, Bernhardt will be in charge of an agency with an $11 billion budget and 70,000 employees.

When Mulvaney (who still is director of the Office of Management and Budget) gets the permanent White House position (which does not require Senate confirmation), Trump is nearly sure to make Deputy Director Russ Vought acting OMB boss and later send the nomination to the Senate. He was strongly supported by Senator Lisa Murkowski and other politicians who have large areas of U.S. lands in their states.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.