Trump Interior Pick Sued Agency On Behalf Of Powerful Water Interests

"When President Trump nominated David Bernhardt for the No. 2 spot at the Interior Department, the administration cited his extensive expertise.

What the announcement failed to mention was that much of that experience was lobbying and doing legal work to elude or undermine Interior Department policies and protections.

As a partner in one of the nation’s top-grossing lobbying-law firms, Bernhardt has represented major players in oil, mining and western water – all areas that fall under the purview of Interior agencies that Bernhardt would oversee if confirmed as the department’s deputy secretary.

Bernhardt’s firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, has sued Interior four times on behalf of Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest irrigation district. Bernhardt personally argued one appeals case challenging endangered species protections for imperiled California salmon."

Bettina Boxall reports for the Los Angeles Times May 17, 2017.

Source: LA Times, 05/17/2017