STATEMENT on David Bernhardt’s Senate committee vote

Apr 4, 2019

DENVER—The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning advanced the nomination of Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt by a 14 to 6 vote. The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“It’s disappointing that the committee rushed to vote on Bernhardt’s nomination despite new revelations of a possible ethics investigation and troubling discrepancies involving David Bernhardt’s calendars and work as a lobbyist. Before the full Senate considers whether Bernhardt is fit to lead the Interior Department, senators need to take a long look at Bernhardt’s habit of concealing his actions from Congress and the public.”

Today’s committee vote came just hours after the Washington Post reported that Bernhardt’s former lobbying firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, more than tripled its Interior-related lobbying revenue since Bernhardt left to re-join the Interior Department. In addition, the New York Times reported that Bernhardt continued to lobby for a major client several months after he filed official papers saying that he had ended his lobbying activities.

Learn more:

  • Trump’s Pick for Interior Dept. Continued Lobbying After Officially Vowing to Stop, New Files Indicate [New York Times]
  • Acting interior chief’s method of documenting meetings attracts scrutiny [Washington Post]
  • Track Changes: What David Bernhardt really wanted to say about his calendar [Westwise]
  • Interior Dept. approved oil, gas permits during shutdown [CNN]
  • David Bernhardt’s war on wildlife [Westwise]
  • Six reasons why David Bernhardt is not fit to be the next Interior secretary [Westwise]

For more information, visit To speak with an expert on public lands, contact Aaron Weiss at 720-279-0019 or Sign up for Look West to get daily public lands and energy news sent to your inbox.