President Trump recently nominated David Bernhardt to be the next U.S. Secretary of the Interior — the agency that oversees our national parks, conservation lands, and natural resources.
So who is David Bernhardt? Bernhardt has worked as a lobbyist for oil and gas corporations. He has promoted changing the Endangered Species Act to favor corporate interests. His most recent job was at a firm that represented Nestlé in lawsuits related to its abusive water bottling practices. It’s clear that he’s the ultimate swamp creature in Washington, DC. And he’s gone back-and-forth through the revolving door between the Department of the Interior and this firm representing corporations that want to extract and profit from the shared resources in our public lands.
In fact, just weeks after David Bernhardt joined the Trump Department of Interior as Deputy Secretary, the National Park Service suddenly rescinded its long-standing guidance on how parks could go bottled water free — a policy that hundreds of thousands of people like you spoke out in support of, and one that the likes of Nestlé had attempted to block for years. And it’s clear this policy worked, preventing tens of thousands of pounds of plastic from being sold and discarded each year in our beautiful parks.
Bernhardt is clearly unfit to serve as Secretary of the Interior. His deep ties to corporations like Nestlé and industry groups like the US Oil & Gas Association should disqualify him from this post.
Over the last several years, you have built the movement for bottled-water-free parks. Your actions have helped block the bottled water industry’s aggressive attempts to interfere in Congress and roll back this policy.
But Big Polluters and corporations like Nestlé are seizing every opportunity presented by the corporate takeover of our democracy under the Trump administration. They’re co-opting our democratic institutions to protect profits at the expense of people and the planet.
Soon, the Senate will hold confirmation hearings on David Bernhardt’s nomination, and we must make it clear that people will not tolerate another corporate shill heading a national agency.
Corporations like Nestlé, the fossil fuel industry, and their trade groups shouldn’t control decisions about our national parks and have unfettered access to extract from our shared public lands. Urge your Senators to reject David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior!