Clean Water Action Statement on David Bernhardt Confirmation

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Swampy and Bernhardt

Washington, D.C. -- Today the Senate confirmed former oil and gas industry lobbyist, David Bernhardt, to be Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI). Bernhardt has faced numerous ethics challenges during his time at DOI, that is unlikely to change now that he is permanent secretary.

Clean Water Action President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released the following statement:

“David Bernhardt is so neck-deep in swamp muck that the Creature from the Black Lagoon would have been a better choice to be secretary. Bernhardt’s career lobbying to make sure the oil and gas industry and other special interests could do whatever they want, no matter the consequences for our health, water, and parks should have disqualified him from consideration. Not that a slimy history has ever stopped the President from elevating someone inappropriate to a position of power.

What’s even more troubling is Bernhardt can’t seem to keep track of how many ethical conflicts he has and he has consistently worked to elevate the priorities of his former clients during his time at the Department. That should have stopped his nomination in its tracks. Unfortunately, the Senate under Leader McConnell has given up any pretense of saying ‘no’ to this President.

The public deserves better than this. We’re going to focus on organizing and mobilizing clean water voters to hold the President and the Senate accountable in 2020.”


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration.

Brent Bolin