Bernhardt Lets Oil Industry Exploit American Treasures

WASHINGTON – Note: Today, the U.S. Interior Department finalized plans to allow energy companies to exploit public lands in Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Earlier this year, Public Citizen released an analysis finding that former clients of Bernhardt have spent nearly $30 million lobbying the federal government since the start of the Trump administration.

This sellout to big oil firms, which comes after the Trump administration slashed the size of the two monuments in late 2017, is more evidence of extremely tight ties between U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and industry.

Millions in spending on lobbying and close personal ties between lobbyists and the Trump Interior Department have proven devastating for America’s public lands and an outright bonanza for oil and gas interests. Bernhardt has consistently favored industry over conservation interests and public health. Rather than listen to the millions of Americans who want to preserve these precious national monuments, the Interior Department consistently chooses to sell off our public lands to the highest bidder. Opening these special areas to exploitation threatens cultural and natural resources that never can be replaced.

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