Clean Water Action Says BLM Director William Perry Pendley is the Last Person Who Should be in Charge of Our Nation’s Public Lands

Friday, April 3, 2020

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced that he is extending William Perry Pendley’s tenure as Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management. 

Michael Kelly, Director of Communications for Clean Water Action, released the following statement in response:

 “William Perry Pendley is the last person who should lead an agency that is responsible for public lands. President Trump knows this, and that is why he has never formally nominated to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM): the Senate would reject him.

“Pendley is an ardent supporter of selling off public lands, fervently catering to big oil and gas interests, and has even questioned the science behind the climate crisis. Congress would be reluctant to confirm him, which is why Interior Secretary Bernhardt has skirted the law a third time to extend Pendley’s tenure. 

“During his time at BLM, Pendley has been the driving force behind the agency HQ’s unnecessary move to Grand Junction, Colorado and the claim that wild horses, not climate change, is the biggest crisis facing BLM today. Further, Pendley has ignored calls for BLM to halt the sales of oil and gas leases on public lands during this public health crisis.

“William Perry Pendley is a wildly inappropriate choice to lead an agency tasked with sustaining the health of public lands for enjoyment by current and future generations of Americans. If President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt truly believe he is the right candidate for the job, they should officially nominate him. Otherwise, he should step down.”


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.

Michael Kelly