Many of our readers saw the story in E&E about the complaint Wild Horse Education filed against William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director (serving with authority of director).
We want you to know that the Office of the Inspector General for Interior (DOI OIG) is taking it seriously. They have reached out for more info and we provided it. Our concerns are relevant, serious and urgent.
These concerns relate directly to the BLM Report to Congress, now 3 months late under Pendley. This should also be of concern as your legislators debate additional funding (House approved $6 million, Senate a whopping $35 million) to accelerate a severely flawed BLM Wild Horse and Burro agenda.This is very relevant to the calls you make (we will explain further down the page).
Yes, for the average person the tale of players can get convoluted and reads like the cast of “Game of Thrones.”
What you need to understand, as an American citizen, is that this is seriously dirty politics and you will foot the bill for it all.
But when it comes to spending your tax dollars? Your reps, that you voted in, are supposed to represent your interests when they cast a vote on spending bills. Your voice matters.
Right now the bills are being consolidated (they do not match) and the federal government is funded through Nov 21 in a temporary bill.
All of the debate is happening without the BLM Report to Congress (that was due 3 months ago) and instead of being released, it was placed back into draft under Pendley. This creates a lack of informed debate, intentionally obstructed, that will have serious consequence to the public interest (transparency, wild horses, etc.). Furthermore, the document is incorporating the agenda of those on Pendleys recusal list.
Any reasonable person can see a conflict of interest between wild horses and Pendley. This is not any investigative process beyond simply “Google.” Why was Pendley made BLM head? Conflicts of interest with mining, wildlife, wild horses and oil and gas should have pointed to an inability to address any public lands issue for at least two years (the ethics policy and pledge).
One of the easiest to understand is litigation against wild horses where Pendley was directly involved. Pendley, as an attorney for the Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF is on the 17-page recusal list) represented the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (also on the recusal list). The case lost as it represented a programmatic challenge to force inaccurate definitions of the law into practice. (Same type of case was brought in Nevada and that case lost as well). The year on this case was 2016, just prior to the change in administrations. Yet, Pendley continued his relationship with these entities and the agency, under his direction, is accomplishing the goals of his former clients.
The list is long. These conflicts of interest are apparent, relevant, serious and urgent. The OIG is taking the complaint seriously. These are the exact types of conflicts ethics rules were created to prevent.
The American public, and public resources, deserve more than an agenda crammed through by Pendley to suit his former clients.
Pendley is not a career agency employee, the position he occupies is one traditionally filled internally. Pendley was tapped, as he worked as an anti-public lands attorney in the private sector. Ethics pledge enforcement is critical to protect the public interest.
note: Even if the agenda is one you agree with, you should be outraged at the way it is being rammed through. The rules are set to stop this type of activity. Allowing it to happen? sets a very dangerous precedent.
Please find your representatives in both the House and Senate at http://govtrack.us
If you do not have time to call? you can click here and send this message to your representatives in the Senate!
note: this is not like public comments on an EA where one comment, or fifty, that say the same thing count as “one.” This is your elected official, voting on matters of national importance, where public majority matters (so do transparency and ethics rules.)
- No new funding or changes to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. The BLM Report to Congress is 3 months late and impeding appropriate debate and scrutiny.
- The BLM Report to Congress likely contains serious ethics regulation violations. The delay, under current BLM Deputy Director Pendley, deserves serious scrutiny and is the subject of an OIG probe.
- The BLM Wild Horse and Burro program must be held to the “status quo” in the 2019 Appropriations bill. No new funding, programs or authorities until Congress, and the public, have opportunity to scrutinize the BLM Report and the OIG releases findings on the investigation into ethics violations by acting BLM Chief William Pendley.
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