Heinrich Leads Entire Democratic Caucus In Urging Interior Secretary Bernhardt To Remove Pendley As Leader Of Bureau of Land Management

"Mr. Pendley is unfit to be confirmed as director, he is unfit to exercise the authority of the director without being confirmed, and we ask that you remove Mr. Pendley from this position"

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, led the entire Senate Democratic Caucus in a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt urging him to remove William Perry Pendley from his position leading the Bureau of Land Management. The senators also call on the President to nominate a qualified director for consideration through the regular confirmation process.

Following a letter from the Democratic Caucus to President Trump last week, it was reported that the White House will be withdrawing Pendley’s nomination. However, Pendley signed a succession order himself months ago that could keep him indefinitely in his role leading the BLM.
"We are pleased to hear that the President has decided to withdraw Mr. William Perry Pendley's nomination to be director of the Bureau of Land Management. We have grave concerns, however, with reports that Mr. Pendley will continue to lead the bureau through his current position as deputy director, exercising the authority of the director," wrote the senators. "For the same reasons that Mr. Pendley is unfit to be confirmed as director, he is unfit to exercise the authority of the director without being confirmed, and we ask that you remove Mr. Pendley from this position. We also call on the President to nominate a qualified director for consideration through the regular confirmation process."
Heinrich has been outspoken about his concerns with Pendley’s advocacy for the widespread sale of public lands, routine attempts to undermine tribes, and climate change denial, and has called for his authority as acting BLM director to be terminated.
The full text of the letter is below and a signed PDF is available here.
Dear Secretary Bernhardt:
We are pleased to hear that the President has decided to withdraw Mr. William Perry Pendley's nomination to be director of the Bureau of Land Management. We have grave concerns, however, with reports that Mr. Pendley will continue to lead the bureau through his current position as deputy director, exercising the authority of the director. For the same reasons that Mr. Pendley is unfit to be confirmed as director, he is unfit to exercise the authority of the director without being confirmed, and we ask that you remove Mr. Pendley from this position. We also call on the President to nominate a qualified director for consideration through the regular confirmation process.
Mr. Pendley’s long public record of advocacy for selling off public lands and reducing access to them, attempts to undermine tribes and tribal sovereignty, and denial of climate change make his beliefs and actions antithetical to either role. His role in the mismanagement of public assets during his first tenure at the Department of the Interior raises serious questions about his fitness for any federal position. The Bureau of Land Management requires a qualified leader who supports public lands and the bureau’s critical role in administering them for the American people.
We urge you to remove Mr. Pendley from his position leading the Bureau of Land Management.
Sincerely,