"Either Cory Gardner and Steve Daines back an anti-environment extremist and outrage public land advocates, or they oppose him and face Trump’s wrath."
"President Donald Trump just put two of his favorite Senate allies in a tough spot.
Late Tuesday, Trump formally nominated William Perry Pendley, a conservative lawyer with extreme anti-environmental views and a long history of advocating for the sale of federal lands, to serve as director of the Bureau of Land Management ― an agency that manages 245 million acres, more than one-third of all federal land.
The timing of the move is baffling. Pendley has served as the bureau’s acting director since last July, thanks to a series of questionable ― some say illegal ― extensions by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Pendley could have remained in that role indefinitely, but Trump instead opted on the cusp of the 2020 elections to kickstart the scrutiny of a Senate confirmation process that Pendley has so far avoided.
That presumably will confront Republican Sens. Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Steve Daines (Mont.) ― two close Trump allies facing tough reelection bids who recently scored rare points with the conservation community ― with a dilemma: vote to confirm Pendley, which would surely enrage public land advocates, or oppose the nominee and face the wrath of Trump."