PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Publishes Letter Urging Senate to Confirm David Bernhardt as Secretary of DOI

Published April 3, 2019

The Heartland Institute is among 20 organizations and 24 individuals who signed a letter urging the United States Senate to confirm David Bernhardt as the new secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI).

Read a PDF of the letter here.

The letter states that Acting Secretary Bernhardt has “highly impressive experience for the position” and urges confirmation “without delay, granting him full authority to manage the nation’s lands on behalf of the American people.” In January, President Trump appointed Bernhardt – who had served as Deputy Interior Secretary since July 2017 – as acting secretary of DOI, replacing Ryan Zinke who resigned.

The letter states, in part:

“As Acting Secretary and Deputy Interior Secretary, Mr. Bernhardt has played a key role in the Trump administration’s sound stewardship of federal lands. Under the Trump administration and Mr. Bernhardt, DOI finalized the Hunt-Fish Rule which removed approximately 1,400 regulations and simplified 710 regulations to reduce the regulatory burden on the public, more closely match state hunting and fishing regulations, and expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 136 refuges. DOI also collaborated with a bipartisan group of Western governors to reform management plans for the Greater Sage Grouse. The amended plans now have unanimous support of governors of Wyoming, Nevada, California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Colorado.

“While providing sound environmental oversight, DOI under the Trump administration and Mr. Bernhardt also promoted American energy abundance and reform of over-intrusive government regulations and restrictions. DOI has saved a total $3.7 billion through major deregulatory actions and has taken concrete steps to expedite and streamline the permitting process for infrastructure and energy projects reducing time frames under the National Environmental Policy Act. DOI in 2018 achieved the second straight year of growth under President Trump in federal energy revenues, including a record-shattering oil and gas lease sale on federal lands in New Mexico, grossing nearly $1 billion. That is more revenue than all federal onshore oil and gas sales in 2017.

“David Bernhardt is an outstanding choice for Interior Secretary. His leadership will allow the Trump administration to continue providing outstanding stewardship for the American people regarding federal-owned lands. We urge his prompt confirmation.”

To book a guest from Heartland Institute to speak about Mr. Bernhardt, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] or call/text his cell at 312-731-9364.