WASHINGTON (August 15, 2020) – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement in response to the White House withdrawing the nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management. Heinrich led the entire Democratic caucus earlier this week in a letter to President Trump opposing Pendley’s nomination.
“The White House is pulling down the William Perry Pendley nomination because Americans don’t want a zealot in charge of their public lands. President Trump realizes that if Pendley actually had to answer questions about his troubling record through the confirmation process he’d put vulnerable Republicans in the hot seat. Republicans want to run public land ads when it’s election time but can’t be bothered to protect those lands from an extremist like Pendley.
“Pendley has made a career as an anti-public lands advocate, aligning himself with extremists and militants who led the armed standoff with the BLM — the agency he now oversees. He has explicitly called on the federal government to sell off millions of acres of the Western landscapes owned by all of us, and has routinely argued against tribal sovereignty. Pendley’s beliefs are antithetical to the very idea of America’s public lands and he is glaringly unqualified to run the Bureau of Land Management.
“Our success in forcing the Trump administration to withdraw the Pendley nomination is only half the battle. The president has shown he’s willing to circumvent Congress and skip the confirmation process by illegally putting people in charge through acting roles. I join the American people in calling on President Trump to identify a new, qualified candidate for this critical position – one who supports public lands and the mission of the Bureau of Land Management.”