WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Jeff Watters, Director of Government Relations for Ocean Conservancy, on the Senate confirmation of David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Department of Interior:
“We are deeply disappointed that the U.S. Senate has confirmed David Bernhardt to be the next Secretary of Interior. He has given the American people no reason to believe that he will protect our ocean or the communities that depend on it.
“Bernhardt has repeatedly side-stepped concerns around his past as a lobbyist for the oil and gas industry. He has provided no clarity on his ties to corporations like Taylor Energy, which is responsible for an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has continued for 14 years.
“Instead, Bernhardt has pledged to ‘tirelessly promote’ President Trump’s goals at the Department of the Interior, which include vastly expanding offshore drilling, despite overwhelming bipartisan opposition.
“As Secretary of the Department of Interior, Bernhardt is responsible for protecting the public waters and lands that belong to all Americans. If Bernhardt uses his position as Secretary of Interior to threaten our ocean by attempting to expand offshore drilling or repealing protections for National Marine Monuments, Ocean Conservancy will be there to fight him every step of the way.”