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Wednesday and Thursday: Action to Highlight Bernhardt’s Record Number of Conflicts of Interest

March 26, 2019


Wednesday and Thursday: Action to Highlight Bernhardt’s Record Number of Conflicts of Interest

Public Citizen Will Deliver to Senators Oversized Notecards Listing Interior Department Nominee’s Conflicts

WHAT: Public Citizen will deliver to U.S. senators oversized notecards listing the record 20 conflicts of interest of Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who has been nominated to be secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The action comes in advance of Bernhardt’s March 28 confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Bernhardt has so many conflicts – more than departed Secretaries Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, David Shulkin and Ryan Zinke combined – that he carries with him a notecard listing them all.

Bernhardt lobbied for many years for the fossil fuel, mining and water industries. Corporations he represented include Halliburton Energy Services, Cobalt International Energy, Sempra Energy, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Colorado Oil & Gas Association, Rosemont Copper Company and Cadiz, Inc. At a 2017 gathering, oil executives were giddy that Trump had appointed Bernhardt as deputy at the Department of the Interior because he could help enact their agenda.

Public Citizen in February called on the department to investigate whether Bernhardt violated two provisions of an ethics executive order issued by the president who appointed him.

Since 2013, Bernhardt and his former lobbying firm have donated almost $1 million to the senators who will decide his confirmation.

WHEN AND WHERE:  Wednesday, March 27 – Activists will deliver notecards to senators on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

9 a.m.-noon, Thursday, March 28 – Activists will stand outside the Dirksen Senate Office Building near the entrance on First Street NE and Constitution Avenue NE with a costumed swamp monster, lifesized cutout of Bernhardt with a poster-sized conflicts-of-interest notecard and several banners calling on the Senate to #StopBernhardt. Activists also will hand out fliers listing Bernhardt’s conflicts.

WHO: Madeline Page, campaign coordinator, Public Citizen