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Open Letter of Support for David Bernhardt’s Nomination as Interior Secretary

April 3, 2019

"As Acting Secretary and Deputy Interior Secretary, Mr. Bernhardt has played a key role in the Trump administration’s sound stewardship of federal lands."

The undersigned organizations and individuals write to express our strong support for Acting Secretary David Bernhardt as nominee for Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI). We urge the United States Senate to confirm Acting Secretary Bernhardt without delay, granting him full authority to manage the nation’s lands on behalf of the American people.

Mr. Bernhardt has highly impressive experience for the position. As Acting Secretary of the Interior, Bernhardt leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees who are stewards for 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and other public lands. From July 2017 through January 2019, he served as Deputy Interior Secretary, spearheading many of the (DOI) reforms that have improved management, value, and stewardship of federal-owned lands. Under the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Bernhardt served as Solicitor, Deputy Solicitor, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Secretary, and Director of Congressional and Legislative Affairs and Counselor to the Interior Secretary. Mr. Bernhardt has also served on the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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.


Tim Huelskamp, Ph. D., President and CEO
and Joseph L. Bast, Founder and Senior Fellow
The Heartland Institute

Myron Ebell
Director, Center for Energy and Environment
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Adam Brandon

Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

Steve Goreham
Executive Director
Climate Science Coalition of America

Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition

Derrick Hollie
Reaching America

Phil Kerpen
American Commitment

Andrew Langer
Institute for Liberty

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

James L. Martin, Founder and Chairman
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President
60 Plus Association

Mark Mathis
Clear Energy Alliance

Steven J. Milloy MHS, JD, LLM

Lisa B. Nelson
Chief Executive Officer
ALEC Action

Craig Richardson
Energy & Environment Legal Institute

David Ridenour
National Center for Public Policy Research

Craig Rucker
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)

Eunie Smith, President
Cathie Adams, First Vice President
Eagle Forum

Daniel Turner
Executive Director
Power The Future

Charlene Hogue
Freedom and Land Rights Coalition

Affiliations of the individuals listed alphabetically below are given for identification purposes only. Academic affiliations have been placed in parentheses to make this doubly clear.

J. Scott Armstrong, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Edwin X. Berry, Ph.D.
Climate Physics, LLC
Bigfork, Montana

Alan Carlin, Ph.D.
Senior Analyst (ret.), U.S. EPA
Washington, DC

Russell Cook

Joseph S. D’Aleo, BS, MS, ABD, CCM, AMS Fellow
Chief Forecaster
Weatherbell Analytics, LLC

Donn Dears
Retired GE Company Senior Executive

Harold H. Doiron, Ph.D.
Retired VP Engineering, InDyne Inc.
Houston, Texas

John Droz, Jr.
Physicist, founder, AWED
North Carolina

Bruce M. Everett, Ph.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor of International Business
Fletcher School, Tufts University

Lawrence Greenberg
Skokie, IL

Larry Hart
Hartco Strategies
Washington, DC

Dennis Hedke
Consulting Geophysicist
Hedke-Saenger Geoscience, LTD

Richard A. Keen, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science
University of Colorado, Boulder

David R. Legates, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Delaware

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
Ostrander, Ohio

Anthony R. Lupo, Ph.D.
Columbia, Missouri

Matthew Malkan, Ph.D.
Los Angeles, CA

Dennis M. Mitchell
Laurel Hill, Florida

Charles N. Steele, Ph.D.
Herman and Suzanne Dettwiler Chair in Economics
Associate Professor, Chairman, Dept. Economics, Business, and Accounting
Hillsdale College

Leighton Steward
The Right Climate Stuff
CO2 Coalition

Nancy J. Thorner
Lake Bluff, Illinois

Richard Trzupek
Chemist and environmental consultant
Palatine, Illinois

S. Stanley Young, PhD, FASA, FAAAS
Raleigh, North Carolina

Benjamin Zycher, Ph.D.
American Enterprise Institute

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Tim Huelskamp served as president of The Heartland Institute from 2017 to 2019.
Myron Ebell is Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and a Policy Advisor to The Heartland Institute. @myronebell